The Wayward Calf

Tonight is more a kick back and relax type of post. Been swathing oats fields most of the day with one more day to go if the machine decides to keep running, which by the way would be in the major miracle department. My story is about a calf though, a Hereford calf out on the south pasture a couple of miles away. In our beef pastures I’ve used a hot dividing wire the last few years to split the pastures into different paddocks and have learned that doing this gives about three times the grass than a continually grazed pasture will. As the grazing season progresses and the cows are moved to different pastures with their calves it doesn’t become a chore, because the cows are waiting for the move. A major move only takes a few seconds once the bovines are trained in. Last week though, one Hereford calf decided to go under the hot single dividing wire and act like it was smarter than the rest. And as usual for calves, it had no trouble going under to the wrong side, but then would not come back under that hot wire to save its life.

For five days it stood on the other side of the fence and bellered for its mama and its mama stood on the opposite side bellering back. Seeing that this pasture was two miles away, the bellering really didn’t bother me all that much. I tried to chase it back, but every time I made a move to do so the calf took off for the high country till I left. By today I figures the whole herd could go into the pasture section where the wayward calf had taken up residence. I opened the electric gate and in a few seconds every cow and calf were over there. I watched and that calf found mama right away and commenced to getting some milk from a tight bag if I ever seen one! And that old Hereford cow didn’t even mind, tight bag and all. All’s well I figured and went on my way this morning.

This late afternoon I drove the swather out to that area to start a field and I could see the pasture down the slope a ways. All looked well for a while as I swathed away up on the field until on a pass that took me closer to the pasture I seen something that only has me shaking my head in bewilderment. The herd was grazing that nice grass, all spread out like a beautiful picture. Then I seen it. Way back by the electric dividing wire, the Hereford cow standing there bellering at her calf that sometime today crossed under the hot wire and went into the paddock that I moved the cows out of today and now would not come back! I think I’ve seen it all when it comes to self destructive behavior!

Well, I figure that cow and calf can beller for another week, seems like they kinda like it the way it looks to me. And if they like it and ain’t on any neighbors lands I guess they can do what they want. Now the way I figure it, being a cowman and Bible believing believer there just gotta be a parable in this story!

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