Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Midnight Bust

I was looking back over the posts from last year.  Sort of reminiscing about what was happening this time last year and then just kept scrolling.  As I was going through, I realized that there are some stories that I never shared.  These are the stories that are worth telling.  You know that because they are the stories that I can still remember after so much time having past... 

I live by the theory of better late than never (you know that already for all of the times I've taken you back!).  Looking back this was a crazy, comical night but at the time it was frustrating, nerve racking and ...  I guess any issue that begins after dark at the end of a long day is doomed to be a hair puller

We had just gotten out of the shower (I say we because we everyone had to go through my shower that night... Why do we have 2 bathroom when we only use mom's?) when I heard the 4 wheeler buzzing around.  People usually don't go for a moonlight ride so I knew something was up.  The Rancher slipped into something more fitting for the ranch then his jammies while I put the babies to bed.  Finally when I made it out to see what was happening (because The Rancher had been gone long enough for me to know that it was bad news- whatever it was) I learned that the most recent batch of weaned calves had escaped the corral and were heading in all sorts of directions.  They went up the highway, down the highway, to the shop, to the haystack and to the alfalfa... awesome... 

The Rancher and Rancher Sr. were buzzing around bringing in what calves they could find.  You see, finding black calves in the dark of a moonless night is tough to do.  You hear them before you ever see them and unless you have GREAT hearing you just might think you are getting around them but really you are heading straight out them.  When I first showed up I just waited for orders from the cowboys.  It was a long wait... So long I gave up waiting for their instruction and took it upon myself to guard the gate.  It didn't take long for me to see that as many calves got brought in would wander out.  Not very productive... 

So I guarded the gate.  And it seemed to work.  The boys would whoop and holler and bring the calves and I would keep them from escaping.  Every so often there would be a handful that made their way to the gate and I was able to get them in (so proud of myself!  Earning so many rancher's wife stripes!).  But the handfuls started getting bigger and more frequent and I began to realize that the blasted calves were hopping the fence and walking back to the gate.  I had been putting the same calves in over and over!  GREAT...  Rancher Sr. came in and as soon as I could I explained that we weren't keeping them in... Making no progress.  So we got what calves we had and pushed them in the corral.  Finally safe.  Locked in.  j

We did this dance of getting the calves in the back pen, running to open the small man gate to the corral, pushing the calves to the gate avoiding the holes in the fence, and trying not to pee my pants every time they scare me as they come around the hay stack. 

Eventually the calves stopped coming and we figured we could call it a night.  All was left to do was lock the gates up good and PRAY that nothing spent the night in the alfalfa to bloat or on the road to get hit.  Come morning we found we were blessed to keep the calves in for the remainder of the night and the couple of strays that spent the night roaming didn't die. 

Looking back on this Thursday night I remember what an exciting eventful fall night we shared when the calves had their midnight jail break.  You could almost say we had a romantic night with the only lights of the starry sky (and the few flashlights and 4 wheeler headlights) but I'm sure that's not how The Rancher looks back on it.  A little anxiety and a lot of relief.  Maybe he won't want to relive this Throwback Thursday memory!

 

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