Chasing cows in pink pajamas

How fast can things change around here?


I stumbled down the stairs and started the coffee, took a moment to gaze out the window and then I glanced at the thermometer while stuffing sock feet into flip-flops — 27 degrees. Brrr! Gathered my robe around me and entered the frosty world with the black lab who began whining in pitiful song the moment my feet hit the floor upstairs.

He hit the brittle grass running and peed for about 2.3 seconds before he froze. Then he was off like a shot, bristled and barking. Earnest, low-voiced commands flew from my lips. “COME!”

He listened! Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat and leapin’ lizards! For once he obeyed. I was feeling pretty smug before I, too, froze in my tracks.

Only they weren’t my tracks.

That, my friends, is a cloven-hoofed animal. And the only ones around here are supposed to be neatly tucked away in a small feedlot on top of the hill. I looked around … tracks near the back porch, tracks through the flower beds, across the front lawn, around the barn and under the apple trees (the deer already took care of the stray apples, though).

The dog and I trudged back to the quiet house. “Honey!” I yelled up the steps. “There are steer tracks by the back porch!”

I heard his feet hit the floor and the ceiling creaked as I imagined him making his way to the windows. From up there he could see the runaways, no longer running but sharing the air with the horses. Apparently the grass on the other side of the horse fence looked more inviting than the wide open spaces. Thank goodness.

Children jumped into action and I swapped flip-flops for boots. The man of the house beat us all out the door and called out assignments. He briefly glanced at the camera in my hands, then ordered me to the other side of the barn … out standing in the field, as it were. To keep them from heading into the wild yonder he said … but mostly so I was completely blocked from capturing people photos.

Who wouldn’t want a camera-toting wife in a pink bathrobe and blue rubber boots on your cow-catching team? Just for the record, I did prevent the steers from running east through my brother’s hay fields as my husband and offspring got them moving up and around the back of the barn towards the feedlot. I think I scared them.

And I did get a nice photo of frost-laden leaves. See?! The camera is essential equipment in any situation!

Words would not aptly describe horses kissing steers and busted gates twisted and unrecognizable.

It’s a strong fence, a very sturdy enclosure. He says it looks as though something spooked them. They ran through the fence and it virtually exploded into splinters. Then, apparently, they sought comfort from the mares after traversing field, stream and yard.

We’re all back at the house now, though, and the steers are resting comfortably and munching hay. “Want to see the photos?” I asked him.

“Did you get any of me?” he asked in his gruff, mountain man voice.

“No, how could I? You put me out in the field away from humanity!” I responded, slightly perturbed.

“I put you where I needed you,” he stated firmly with a hard glint in his eye.

“If you’re going to help, you’re going to help — not wander around seeing the beauty like Ansel Adams!”

(Insert me laughing out loud!)

My husband, ladies and gentlemen.

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.


  • comment-avatar
    Aly October 30, 2011 (8:41 am)

    Ahh yes, I have been there as well! Thank you so much for the morning laugh and taking me back down memory lane. I can see the exact same event unfolding in my adolescent memory down to my dad jumping out of bed and looking out his window before running down the stairs and calling out commands! To fun!

    -Tornado Aly

  • comment-avatar
    osuburd October 30, 2011 (8:54 am)

    Wow – I remember those days and am so glad that we have not had cattle escape in years! I know – be careful of what I say – it will come back to haunt me ~ the hardest chase of cattle was in the dew-ladened wheat field at 2 in the morning and 100 holstein cattle. Boots couldn’t even attempt to keep me dry. That memory still sticks with me. Oh – and I relish the thought of carrying a camera along! Kuddos for capturing all of it Jenn!

    • comment-avatar
      Farmgirl October 30, 2011 (8:58 am)

      Escaped cattle … seems to be a recurring theme around here!

  • comment-avatar
    Nancy October 30, 2011 (9:02 am)

    I’m just impressed that he knew who Ansel Adams was!!!

  • comment-avatar
    MAC October 30, 2011 (12:34 pm)

    Your husband is wonderful . . . most of the time. . .