It's a rainy Spring night and you are just crawling into bed.
The phone rings.
You get a horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach.
The room starts spinning.
You are trying not to panic...but all you can do is panic.
The neighbor just called to tell you that THE COWS ARE OUT!!!
Isaac is almost 14 and just hit another growth spurt. He has officially outgrown most of his clothes. We are extremely fortunate to have a "clothes Grandma" and get lots of hand-me-downs from a cousin. However, the Sunday clothes are really suffering.
Every Sunday morning Isaac comes downstairs moaning about his suit coat being too tight, his tie is half-way up his chest, and his toes are about ready to pop out of his shoes. I knew I couldn't put off the shopping trip any longer.
Daniel has been working a lot of overtime lately, and we are very grateful for the extra money. We are all a little tired and out of sorts from the change in routine and not having Dad at home every night. We were all due for a little down time and family bonding.
We decided to head to Mansfield and do some shopping. Isaac wasn't thrilled, but once we got to the store and he saw all the great deals, he was like a kid in a candy store. This is probably the biggest single shopping trip we have ever had for our kids, so we can't complain, but that $340 bill sure did sting a little...thank goodness for overtime!
We grabbed some supper and headed home. It was late, but we all enjoyed our evening together.
Walker fell asleep in the car...thank goodness for that little cat nap!
We made it home at about 10:30 p.m. and herded everyone in to take showers. Daniel and Isaac headed up to bed while Walker finished his shower and I threw the laundry in the dryer.
The next thing I know, Daniel and Isaac are back downstairs throwing on their clothes.
Harold (our neighbor) called.
The new neighbor (not that new, but we haven't met him yet), called Harold to tell him that our cows were out and down at the corner of the fence!
Daniel and Isaac grabbed the spot light and ran out to the barn.
I watched the light from the spotlight run along the edge of the barn...and it didn't stop at the gate. I knew the gate was open. My heart stopped. It is the big gate that automatically swings opens when you unlatch it.
The gate was broken.
Three cows were missing.
Mitchell, Annabelle and Bunny. Annabelle and Bunny are both due to calve within the next month. Why the other 5 cows in that paddock stayed put? I'll never know...but thank goodness they did.
Walker guarded the broken gate and I ran inside to replace the battery in the spotlight that had gone dead. Daniel and Isaac got on the 4-wheelers and headed down to Harold's house to herd the cows back.
I saw headlights coming back towards the house, but I knew they were moving too fast. Then I saw the headlights from Harold's truck. Ugh! They couldn't find the cows and Harold had joined the search.
I can't even describe the feeling of knowing that you have cows loose, on a pitch black night, with wet roads and only a half mile from a State Route.
Where do you even start to look? Daniel and Isaac split up for a while, Harold ran up and down the road and I looked anywhere I could think of with the spotlight.
(sorry for the lack of pictures, but I was too busy holding the spotlight to worry about a camera....besides it was dark.)
Not having any luck, Daniel and Isaac headed across the road to the neighbors wide open fields.
They disappeared over the hill.
A few minutes later I heard Daniel hollering....and a cow back at home mooing. I knew that they had found them...and the cows were calling them home.
They ran the cows down the hill, and I headed them off at the road. They ran up the fence, right back to the barn, where Walker had the gate open for them.
They were home!
Daniel dug around in the garage and found some extra chain to jerry-rig the gate for the night. We put a hay feeder in front of the gate to keep the cows from rubbing on the gate and doing more damage to it.
For once, the boys hadn't left the gate open. We think one of the cows got it's head stuck and then snapped the gate as it was trying to get free.
Add another $180 to the evening's bill...thank goodness for all that overtime!
Time to go back inside and go to bed. Like I could sleep after that adrenaline rush!
I think we all slept through Friday afternoon, but somehow we made it to the weekend.
Daniel came home Friday night and installed a new gate. Farm upgrades....just not one that we had planned.
We are very thankful for our neighbors...but I hope the next phone call is just to chat.
From calm to chaos. Just another day down on the farm!
You might also like...
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.