That’s what time it is according to my iPad. I’m cozied down in my Lazy Boy recliner. Having just downed a glass of Gatorade and a T.V. dinner, I’m ready to tell you all about our last four and one half hours. Tomorrow I’ll be harvesting eight of our grass-fed bevies using a mobile harvest trailer that allow cattle to be harvested at the ranch with a USDA inspector approving of the process. We saddled up about six this evening, loaded our horses in our gooseneck trailer, and headed to our permanent pasture ranch where we raise our grass-fed bevies. Here, there are 150 little Brahma cross-breed calves that will stay at the V6 Ranch until next summer when they will be sold.
It’s cooled off now in the day, and as we approach the cattle, I can tell that they feel like running (or stampeding). Well all it took to ignite this swarm of bevies was an ill timed bark from one of our dogs… and the race was on. I’m sure this mess would have been nipped in the bud if lion-hearted Bob was along, but I left Bob at home to let some of our other dogs try out their skills at controlling this mob.
The first thing to go was the electric fence, and next was a gate that was left open. Half of the mob headed right for the gate, and on to the county road they went. Boy I hope there are no cars coming. Still running, the leaders of the crowd spy my neighbor’s driveway… and in they go! I’m sure glad there are no flowers to contend with. I get around the leaders and back on to the county road they go, still running. Luckily there are no cars in sight. How many cars are using passing through Parkfield, population 18, anyway? Zee was positioned to turn the runner back into the field where we started. We watch now as the run becomes a trot and the trot becomes a walk. It’s almost dark as we enter the corrals with our eight grass-fat steers and 10 little ones who sort themselves off easily so we can put them back into their pasture.
It’s dark now as I back my son-in-law’s trailer into the alley so we can load the cattle. Upon opening the trailer gate, I see the front quarter is taken up with Mike’s ATV, but I felt there was enough room for cattle behind the panel that separates his iron horse from my cattle. Loading in the dark can be hazardous to your health because it’s hard to tell who your friends are. As I’m bringing the cattle toward the trailer, Zee is behind the trailer gate ready to close it. In they go, except one sweet thing that makes a pass at me and doesn’t go in. You bitch, don’t you know I’m tired and it’s time to go in the trailer? Zee closes the gate because we decide to load her in the other stock trailer with our horses. After switching rigs, we’re ready to load Sweet Thing. She’s as black as the night and she’s lost her sense of humor. Plus the back of this trailer has french doors, which are hard to close on cattle that don’t want to stay in. We have her in a crowding pen where she is trotting around and having a teenage melt down. My hope is that she might like the trailer more than the crowding pen. She goes in, and back out. I’m climbing the fence like bull riders do after being bucked off. Just in time as she gives out a blood curtailing bawl and blows snot on me then laps the pen and jumps in the trailer again. “Close the gate,” I yell. Zee says I’m afraid she will knock me down coming out of the trailer. Well this bitch has been in and out of this trailer 8 or 10 times by now. I’m also afraid to get flattened by old what’s-her-name. But macho men never let on that they’re afraid. Good form is to urge your wife not to be afraid and try again. Besides, dear, you know I’ll take you to the hospital if you get flattened. I think sweetie pie’s adrenalin must be wearing off by now as she’s been in the trailer several minutes, so I jump off the fence and blindly try to close the trailer. I close the divider panel from the outside and I’m ready to load my horses. Sweet thing blows snot at me one more time as I tie mine and Zee’ horses in the trailer. Driving home I’m thinking, I haven’t had an adrenalin rush like that in awhile. Life is good.