Monday, May 3, 2010
Last weekend I was invited to help my friends move thier cows from one pasture to another. The plan was to put halters on the cows, lead them and hope thier new calves would follow. I was to lead Rose, a Dexter cow,small, quite docile and tame.
The baby cows didn't exactly follow along as one might expect. Instead they burst from their pens and began to gambol and leap about like race calves. This caused the mama cows to become a bit distressed. Rose was not so thrilled to have me hanging onto her head with a rope and halter. She made her displeasure known by pulling hard, by ramming me with her head and by swinging her backside towards me making me wonder if a kick was in the offing. I realized early on she was much, MUCH stronger than I am. I hung on determidly, doing little more than guide Rose in the right direction.
When the cows and calves were all safely in the new pasture with room to leap and play and lots of deep green grass to dine on, I had time to reflect on the experience. Leading a cow is a lot like parenting a young adult. You can hang on for all you are worth, but really, you don't have a lot of control. All you can hope for is that you raised a kid that is much, MUCH stronger than you are. And that they will head off in the right direction.