9.6.08

No formal workout today. I planned on doing “Linda” but ran out of time yet again. I got up early this morning and drove up to my mom’s ranch to help her give fall shots to the calves. We ended up being outside about 11 hours, so I was exhausted when I came in and just thought “I’ve had enough of a workout today, thank you very much.” Lots of climbing over gates, up and down ramps, running behind calves, yelling, jumping, arm waving, trying not to get my head kicked off. The usual, in other words. 

After we were done with the vaccinations we had to turn the cows out, then we had to fix all the things the cows broke during the day, which turned out to be quite a lot. One particularly rowdy bunch had knocked down a gate for the second time today and was cavorting around the neighbor’s pasture, so I had to stay behind and watch the hole while my mom went home and restocked on ammunition. No, kidding, we would never shoot a cow. Unless we were going to eat her, then we would hire someone else to do it.

So, there I was, four miles from home in the middle of the pasture surrounded by bored bovines. I stared at the cows, they stared at me. A little bird landed on the back of one of the cows and decided that if the cows liked me I must be ok, so she started hopping around and almost walked right over my foot. Cool. I had a PowerBar in my pocket so I took it out and unwrapped it. I was watching the bird on my right and the b**ch of a cow on my left that literally tried to kill me this winter, and two of my pet cows tried a sneak attack to filch the PowerBar. I tried to explain it was people food, not cow food. I didn’t mention that cows are also sometimes people food. Best not to tell them everything.

I really do like cows. They are great animals. I have frittered away inordinate amounts of my time trying to tame them, to get them to eat out of my hand or accept a hug or scratch on the neck. Cows are not the glamorous animals on the farm, like a horse. Horses get special pans with special food and ribbons in their hair and trailers to ride around in and sometimes even carpet in their stalls and fancy names. Little girls dream of owning a pony someday, but no one dreams of owning a cow. What do cows get? Nothing — no respect. But they do make the perfect pet, as Bill Bryson says:

“To my mind, the only possible pet is a cow. Cows love you. . . . They will listen to your problems and never ask a thing in return. They will be your friends forever. And when you get tired of them, you can kill and eat them. Perfect.”

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