On the third night of my taking over feeding, Wilma and Pork Chop weren’t waiting for me at the gate as usual. After calling and calling, I finally saw both girls, one standing in the middle of the pasture and one much farther back. Relieved to see them, I started to walk closer, trying to figure out why they hadn’t come to me.
I soon realized the reason; Wilma was on the wrong side of the fence! Naturally, the cows reside about a quarter of a mile away from the house. Naturally, I had enjoyed my usual leisurely stroll getting down there instead of taking the car. Naturally, I sprinted back to the house shouting and waving frantically to get my Robert’s attention.
“Calm down. No need to get all riled up. We’ll just go back down there and get her back in the fence. Nothing to worry about.” Husband, Mr. Cool.
So, we calmly got in the car and drove back down to the pasture. Still Mr. Cool at this point, Robert grabbed a bucket of feed and walked to the back of the pasture where there are handles to get out of the electric fence. Now Mr. Cool sees that there is no break in the fence, so he removes the three yellow connection handles, one for each strand of electric wire, and proceeds to walk toward Wilma with bucket in hand, calling her for dinner.
Great, I thought. No problem. She’ll go to him. She’s been going to him for a couple of months. Piece of cake. Except for one thing: Wilma is trotting away from Mr. Cool, who is now waving and banging on the feed bucket.
Meanwhile, I decide to walk around to try and get behind Wilma, thinking she’ll turn away from me and back toward hubby. Well, wouldn’t you know, Wilma got a little disoriented and saw both me and Robert as scary monsters who she clearly needed to get away from as soon as bovinely possible.
Now, I should mention that the pasture the cows are in is mostly surrounded by woods, except of course the one side of the fence that poor Wilma is, by this time, frantically pacing back and forth along. And in the middle of that side is a grass driveway that leads through the trees and out to the road behind our property.
Just as my initial panic starts to regain a little momentum, I hear, “Don’t just stand there, do something!” So much for Mr. Cool.
I race back through the pasture, out to the car. I gun the engine and speed down the driveway another quarter of a mile to the main road. I fly around the corner, nearly hitting mach speed, trying not to crash while looking for that little break in the trees where the grass driveway starts, expecting all the while to see a cow running down the road ahead of me.
I found the opening and quickly turned in, just as I noticed a big black cow standing on the side of the driveway, less than a hundred yards away from the main road. OK, so now what? I don’t want to chase her into the woods, that would be a disaster. By some miracle, Wilma turned and started walking back down the driveway toward home. I followed, slowly, creeping along so I wouldn’t hit her, but moving steadily so she wouldn’t get any ideas about running into the woods or trying to get around me.
Just when I thought we were home free, Wilma was forced to stop for a fallen tree that was blocking the path. The car could not get by the tree, so now what? I got out of the car and walked toward Wilma saying, “Shoo” at first (right, like that would work), and then, “Go home, Girl.” Another miracle: Wilma jumped over the tree toward home. I followed on foot.
On the other side of the tree, Mr. Cool was still calling Wilma, still banging on the bucket. I kindly suggested (read: yelled and screamed, maybe a bit of name-calling involved) that he get back inside of the fence so she could follow him. Miracle number three: she did!
After that, there was nothing left to do, but walk back to the car and drive home.