Friday, May 18, 2012


The grass really is greener on the other side of the fence. This morning I was mowing our lawn, happily riding our tractor mower back and forth and back and forth, when I spotted six black Angus grazing in the back yard. Whoa! Hero and I knew they weren’t those of our neighbor who raises Brangus because some of these had horns and her cattle don't. Hero called to ask if she knew where the runaway cattle belonged. She didn’t, but said she’d try to locate the owner for us. She’s such a nice person and combines the cattle business with a singing career.

Lubbock, TX - the city in which Hero and I lived as children

Hero and I grew up in the city. We don’t have cattle, we have pasture for hay and an orchard. Neither of us was eager to engage in an altercation with cattle. Especially since these had their horns. Even one of them is large enough to kill a person, and there were six. An average bull weighs from 1800 to 2000 pounds and there was one in this bunch. The females weigh less, around 1100 to 1200 pounds.

Black Angus Cattle with Calves

After they grazed in the hay meadow, they moved on to our back lawn. They loved our birdseed and drank the water in the birdbath. The mower did not phase most of them, but I thought one was going to butt heads with the tractor. Not a good thing! We can share birdseed, grass, and water, but they were wandering toward the road. Cattle in the road presents a hazard for the cattle and for any vehicles driving by. Our road snakes and cattle in the road catch drivers by surprise.

Our neighbor is a real cowgirl. I mean the genuine article. She has starred in Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show at the Fort Worth Stockyards, plus she has the voice of an angel for which she has received awards and acclaim. But she loves her little ranch here in the country. Today when she decided she’d found similar cattle a road over, no one was home. She s a feisty little woman, though, so here she came on her own with her lead pole that she uses when her bull, named Bob, goes for a stroll through greener pastures and takes his harem with him. About that time, here comes a man in a red pickup truck, one of approximately a gazillion red pickups in this state. Turns out he owns the adventurous cattle. He and our neighbor drove them home with no problems.

So NOT our Llama
This little saga impressed further on Hero and me why we do not ever, ever, EVER want cattle or sheep or goats or any other farm animal. (Darling Daughter 2 lives in Fort Worth but wants us to get a couple of llamas and some chickens so she can visit them, Not happening.)  When we acquired our land (I hesitate to say bought the farm), all our neighbors advised us to get at least four calves in spring and pasture them over the summer, then sell them in the fall. They guaranteed that the three sold would repay our investment plus processing costs when we had the fourth one slaughtered (Ugh, that term!). Supposedly, we’d have free beef for the year. Longer for us, because we don't eat much meat, especially not beef.

I repeat, Hero and I did not grow up on a farm or ranch. We don’t have that protective filter that lets people sell animals they have raised. We could not do it. Instead, we would name them, pet them, and have them forever. Then we’d be buying winter feed and all those disgusting looking medicinal tubes and packages that are sold at the tractor supply and feed store. No, thank you. Even the neighbor who helped out today only sells her Brangus for breeding, not for slaughter (there’s that awful word again). Yes, she's named each of them--Bob, Blossom, Prairie Flower, and Heather are those I remember.

Copperhead - One of the few things we kill
Each of our neighbors raises horses or cattle or both. Hero and I have only our little menagerie of cats, a dog, the wild birds we feed, plus the stray critters that wander by. We don’t kill anything unless it threatens us, like the copperhead in the photo above.Yes, we're weird.  In an area where everyone else hunts, we are misfits in a way, but we are mostly accepted and no one mentions (to our face, at least) our eccentricities. Life here is mostly peaceful and pleasant. We need a little excitement now and then. Hopefully it will only be via a few stray cattle.

What recent exciting event can you share?

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

katsrus said...

Caroline I could never kill anything either unless it's a spider or a snake. Luckly there aren't too many snakes where I live. I love animals. Always loved going to my grandpa's farm to see the animals. Yep I am a city kid too. LOL. Thanks for sharing alittle about Texas. Sounds charming.
Sue B