It’s been quite a week. Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was bright and sunny and my sister in law and her husband are here to visit the ranch and her son, the cowboss, and of course, us! We all went out to feed leppies, horses and Emmalou moo, and take care of all the critters. I went to check for eggs and one of the old hens BIT ME and drew BLOOD!!! I was so flabbergasted I didn’t even nab her, I just staggered to the house with my finger dripping blood.
I put a band aid on, and grabbed Wimpy. We were going to ride a few miles out on the ranch to where they were branding. I haven’t been riding Wimpy much as of late, because I was enjoying Mister so much, but he is losing some weight, and I needed a good steady ride so I grabbed the Wimp. I commented that he was acting kind of squirrelly and ‘unwimpy-like’ as he was walking right out, very alert, instead of his usual lazy, apathetic self. We finally got to the branding just as they were about finishing up. There was a big bull they needed to doctor so all the ropers and the ground crew were surrounding him, while they tried to get all his legs roped so he could safely be doctored. During this little event, a couple of pairs decided to sneak off, so my sister in law and I turned our horses around to push them back...that’s when it happened.
There was suddenly a great deal of air between the saddle and myself, as Wimpy started humping his back and bucking in place. He was hesitating slightly after a few jumps to shift his weight back so he could rear up a little, then he’d go back to bucking. I cannot tell you how surprised I was, as this horse has NEVER bucked to my knowledge and he is no spring chicken. I had a camera in one hand, unfortunately, because I was taking pictures of the bull roping. Unwilling and not having enough wits about me to throw the camera, I kept trying to pull him around with the rein I had, all the while hollering “QUIT!” I finally got him to stop, and we continued after the cow and calf. I really think it was the fear of walking all the way home that kept me on board as I do not have a secure enough seat to stay in the middle of a horse that is coming apart like that anymore. Fear does funny things. Sometimes it's not all bad.
We turned the pair back, when the calf doubled back in his tracks and Wimpy suddenly remembered his past training with the cowboss I bought him from, who owned him all his life and was quite a hand. He sucked back and rolled back over his hocks, sticking with the calf. It was mere pucker power which kept me aboard, once again. This time I patted him on the neck and we went on about our day.
We had a great dinner. Two of the meaties we processed were prepared in a big claypot with rosemary, thyme, onions and melted butter. They were delicious, and there is still a LOT of meat because they averaged 5 and 6 lb each in the packages. Awesome.
This morning, my sis-in-law went to gather cows with everyone, Randyman and my bro-in-law went to drive truck and haul cows somewhere, and I stayed home to feed leppies, goats, sheep, chickens and check on EmmaLou, who has been staying close to the corral, coming in to see me twice a day, which is unusual for her when she is not being milked.
This morning I knew something was up, because she wasn’t there. I fed the leppies and kicked them all out, and went to look for her. She was down on the far side of the octopus tree, and kept looking off to her left. She turned just a smidge and I could see she still had an afterbirth trailing her. She wasn’t alone. I jumped up and down, as best as someone in my condition can, and waddled to the milkroom for some cmpk pills, then to the house to grind them up and add them to some warm molasses water. I filled a 5 gal bucket and took the 4 wheeler, splashing my way down the pasture, through bumps and ditches, with my fingers crossed praying for a heifer.
All the leppies were watching, and hoping to sneak in to steal some of that great milk, and the new calf, still a little wet, turned around and I whooped! It’s a HEIFER!!
I gave Emma her cocktail and told her what a fantastic job she did. The little heifer is not only in very good shape, but she is very smart. She is already on her feet, nursing all 4 teats. She has both ears, both eyes, 4 legs and all 8 toes! She is a genius, who takes after her grandmother, I can tell. She’s just beautiful, and just what I have been hoping for, since the day I lost Dolly.
Life can be so good.
Her daddy is a bull I call “Mr Miyagi”. She’s going to be just wonderful!