Hummm, snort, uff….Wha….What Boomer?
Would you tell me a story?
Yes, tell me about what it’s like to be a Cow Dog?
A Cow Dog?
Yes, like when you were young and you helped Mom and Dad with the cows.
Ah, yes…those were some good time, Boomer, some good times.
Well, let’s see…
First, before I came to live with Mom and Dad I was raised by a Cowboy. From a little tiny pup I was taken everywhere and then some with my cowboy. He is the one who taught me just what to do and how to do it.
Some stuff he didn’t have to tell me, I just knew…it’s in my blood, so to speak.
Like hunkering down and walking toward a cow that is determined to do something she isn’t supposed to do?
Yeah, like that and some other stuff that would take too long to explain to you.
I know, Fuzzy. It’s just like how I can smell all sorts of stuff and can bay!
Er, yeah, (clearing the throat), Like that, Boomer.
(Mr. Davis’ cows)
Anyway, there was this time, after I came to live with Mom and Dad, that Mom was out looking for a cow she knew was about to have her little one. We looked everywhere…out on the alfalfa fields, in the old corn stalks, up at the Upper End, over on the Back Forty, and in the Wildness Area.
It was on the Cactus Hill Mom and I came across the new little bovine. Just lay’n in the darnest spot. He was sort of tucked in under the point of the hill on a scanty patch of grass right out there in full view of any sort of coyote that might come wandering by.
(Our cow from several years ago)
And he was all alone…no Mom anywhere, not across the hill in the sagebrush and rabbit brush, not over at the end of the place where the farm ends and Sinner’s farm begins, not behind us where we just came from.
Mom told me to find the Momma so I sat off sniffing here and there but the leads were cold.
Now…just so you know…Momma cows will do this…tell their little ones to stay right here, don’t move, and don’t move for anything!!! ‘I don’t care what…you don’t move’. Then go off to fill their tummies with good things that make lots of milk for the calf.
Now Mom, was getting a little nervous about this whole thing…the calf was parked right in the known area where the coyotes denned up. Also, a smart cow wouldn’t go very far from her unprotected baby, she would eat and then come back, check on the little one, maybe take a rest, then feed her baby, then start the process all over again.
This calf didn’t have anyone around …. Since the day was starting to draw to a close, Mom decided to load the little one up and bring it into the corral.
Her thinking was to get the calf into the corral (and out of coyote country) then when the Mom’s bag got really full she would head into the corral where they would pair up again.
Would she do that Fuzzy? Really? Or just hang out there Mooing?
(one of our cows and calves from the past)
Mom and Dad have had cows come in before, but this time Mom was going to get Dad and flush her out of wherever she was and between all of us-Mom, Dad, and myself…bring her into the corral.
Mom and I, with the calf tied on the back of Mom’s four-wheeler, right where you and I ride Boomer, we headed out.
“Keep a sharp look-out for the Mom, Fuzzy! If we can get her to see the calf she will follow us right into the barn and the corrals.”
Slowly we drove in. I zigged and zagged here and there, I ran up hills and into the swamp, then I dove through dried out grass taller than my head…looking and looking for that silly mother cow.
No Mother here or there or anywhere.
(our former bull and cows)
Gradually we got back to the barn and the corrals. Mom and I could see all the other Moms snacking down on the hay in the manger…suddenly the calf hollered…
There trotting toward us at a very fast clip came MOMMA COW!!! She must have gone in the nightly feeding as we were going out to find her. She was screaming and yelling, frantic eyeballs rolling this way and that, hooves flinging clips of mud and dirt in a cloud behind her.
Of course this started the little one to yelling louder and louder, squirming hard to get off the four-wheeler and to his mother.
Mom, stopped the four-wheeler and just waited.
The cow lumbered up and did a quick sniff all over her baby. Then mooed a soft sound asking the little one to get down and come with her.
Mom didn’t want this cow to take the calf back up and hide it again so she started the machine back up and slowly, ever so slowly drove the wiggling calf back to the corrals and the barn…Momma cow walking behind very careful to keep her nose as close as she could to the little one.
Back home Mom drove into the birth’n pen, followed by the cow and myself. She untied the calf and helped it jump off into the loving sounds of the Momma cow.
Since the Momma cow and the calf were pretty busy with each other, it was a snap for Mom to get the four-wheeler out of the pen and the gate shut. After all that she forked over hay into the feed bunk and sprinkled some nice cracked corn on the hay flakes for the Mom.
Being the cow that she was, that old girl left her kid and immediately rushed over for the special treat of cracked corn on hay flakes. It didn’t bother her little calf at all…he just trotted right over and started having supper while his mom chowed down on her food.
(the calf of the story)
“All is well that ends well, Fuzzy!” Mom said as she bent down and gave me lots of rubs and pats. “Thanks for your help! Let’s go in now and get our supper.”
So we did.
Gosh, Fuzzy. That was really cool. You knew just what to do and what Mom needed. You’re my Hero, Fuzzy.
Humph, snort! Er, well, Thanks, Boomer. It really wasn’t much.
It was to me Fuzzy. And it was to Mom.
Well, I guess it was, Boom, I was just doing my job, that’s all.
Thanks, Fuzzy, that was a great story.
You are welcome, Boom. You are welcome.
(Told to Boomer one long boring hot afternoon as Mom worked in the garden.)