Most of you probably already know this about me but I feel the need preface. I grew up on a farm. Not a Soybean or Corn-growing farm. No plowing the back forty, more like the back four. We lived on five acres and technically it was a farm, but not like the ones most people imagine. Yes, we lived in the country, or at least it used to be the country. Now there is a Mall 5 minutes away. Yes, we had horses, chickens, and cows. Not a herd of cattle...cows. My father, the farmer, each year over-sought the raising of 3-4 head of cattle, for beef. Not a factory farm by any means, but Dad knows how to grow a good steak.
I have a sort of love/hate relationship with the cows. Love the way they tasted...hated having to chase them down when they got out. Lots of times I was summoned to help corral escaped cattle from the pen. I'd have to drop whatever I was doing, slide into a pair of oversized rubber boots that came to my knees, grab my cow-wrangling weapon, usually a bright yellow dust mop, and report to my Dad to find out my assigned duty. Normally, all I'd have to do is stand there and wave the mop or my arms to keep the cows from going where we didn't want them to go, like in the garden for instance. Mom, Dad and usually some of the neighbors would actually go out and heard them in the general direction of the pen. Now even though we had horses, we never actually used them to help with moving the cows. I never really thought about it until now on why we didn't use them. I guess because it would've been more hassle than anything. Three or four cows were generally pretty easy to maneuver on our own.
Anyway back to my story. Two weeks or so ago my dad went to the auction to pick up his new herd. He brought home three cows. One immediately managed to get out. She ran up the dirt lane toward the road. Dad was took off after her, but not being quite as young as he once, she managed get away from him pretty quick. He spotted her cutting across a couple of neighbors' properties and running across the street . The neighbors came out thinking its one of their own cows loose. After they figured out it wasn't their cow, they stuck around to help because that's what neighbors do. The cow ran around through the neighborhood eventually crossing the road again, where a different set of neighbors come out to help.
These are the folks that caught the cow... sort of. See, she decided to charge one of the guys. He took the impact, and somehow managed to grab her and basically wrestled her to the ground. My dad then hobbled her to keep her from taking off again while he went to get the truck and trailer to haul her home. From what I understand, it wasn't easy. Lots of pushing and shoving and dragging, but eventually the cow was returned home and safely locked up in the barn...at least for a little while.
Saturday as I was checking my all important Facebook I came across this post from my aunt.: There's a cow on the loose on Ludlow Rd. Trackers are having difficulty. Reports are they have been mislead by deer tracks. Sister is in the woods, fallen 3 times face first in the snow. Report of snow down her boots and feet are freezing. If you're in the area and spot a runaway cow, it is unarmed so it's ok to stop it.
So I called home to find out what happened.
On Saturday my dad decided to return the cow to the outdoor lot with the other two in the herd. I guess the cow looked at the fence for about um... thirty seconds before deciding to leap over it and take off again.
This when Mom's status updates started getting entertaining.
Feb 14 12:33am (Mom's a night owl.) Loose cow update!! Cow still on the loose. Last spotted behind duplex on south side of Ludlow Rd. Greene Co sherrif has been notified. Owners are too old to be galavanting all over the place hunting loco cow. One owner can barely walk due to about 3 hrs of extreme cow tracking. Lots of volunteers have offered to help in the search and capture on Sun am.
Feb 14 12:36am If elusive cow is cornered and captured and returned to her barn she will be loaded up on Thurs and taken back to the cattle auction from whence she came. All you farmville people , if a cow appears on your farm call the local sherrif so it can be returned to it's rightful owner. LOL
Mom always tells the folks that send her those silly Farmville invites that she won't join because it's too much like real life for her.
Feb 14 1:38pm Well, we are pretty much resigned that we will never see the cow again. No calls from the sherrifs dept. I guess no one else has seen her too.
Now after 24 hours we all figured she'd turn up at home or at the other farm with cows on her own. I mean. There's 12+ inches of snow on the ground and the girl is bound to get hungry eventually.
Feb 16 6:03pm MISSING COW UPDATE. The cow was last seen on Sat. afternoon. We have given up all hope of ever seeing her again.
Feb 18 10am COW UP DATE!!! Sherriff has called twice this morning with cow sightings. Apparently she has moved into the rich neighborhood --The Conservancy. Master tracker Steve responded to call. Found cow tracks and a pile of manure, but it wasn't steaming (not a fresh pile).
I speak on experience with this one. Manure is your friend when tracking cattle. It's weird. I know, but it always works.
Feb 18 11am Master tracker Steve has just returned after an hour of tracking. Still no cow.
Feb 18 1:15 pm COW UPDATE Just returned from the Conservancy housing development where 4 park rangers and 3 from the Sherrif's Dept are now on the case. Cow went into a wooded, brambly area and disappeared. Surprise Surprise. We have given them permission to shoot to kill.
Feb 18 1:30 pm Someone from Kemp Rd called saying she had a cow standing in her driveway. It spooked and headed towards N. Fairfield Rd. IF this the same cow (and Steve thinks it is) it may end up at the mall for a shopping trip. THIS COW IS LOCO!!!!
At this point I start mentally plotting the cow's course. "She IS heading toward the Mall. (Remember I said there was a Mall five minutes away?) Specifically she was heading towards Target. Can't fault her for that. I love Target. Wait a second, Isn't there a Hindu temple behind Target? Do you think she's heading there to seek sanctuary?"
Several other people suggested that perhaps she was going to apply for a job to be the official "Chick-fil-a Spokes-cow." There's a Chick-fil-a in front of Target.
Feb 18 4:30 Cow Update. Got a call this afternoon from a lady on Kemp Rd She and her sister saw our cow and were trying to offer it carrots to eat. (It's not a bunny folks) Just awhile ago got a call from a guy who saw it and wanted to know what we were doing about it. I said the sheriff has permission to kill it when they spot it But now it has crossed over into Beavercreek City limits & it is a whole new ball game.
Okay, the whole notion of trying to lure a cow with carrots made me cry with laughter. At this point I called home. Poor mom sounded apprehensive when she answered until she realized it was me. I asked if she thought I was calling about the lost cow. I guess the phone has rung off the hook with sightings. The last man she talked to said he saw the these two little old ladies walking down the road with two carrots and a dog leash. Which begs us to ask, Did they think the cow was wearing a collar and they could just walk it home? (I'm sorry. I'm still giggling over the mental image of these two. LOL)
Feb 18 5:30 Cow saga continued. Beavercreek police said we can't kill it unless we can idenify her as our cow. Then there is the problem of discharging a gun in city limits. Also, animal control has been notified and they would prefere us not to kill her. Right now we aren't sure exactly where she is. What a day!!
So back when I heard the first part of the story, where the cow had to be wrestled to the ground to be caught, I posted to my own Facebook status "LMAO at my dad's runaway cow story. I can't decide if I miss living on the farm or not." After hearing all the additional escapades I can honestly say, No I don't miss it. However I'm glad I had that experience growing up. It builds character, and I can say that I know from first hand experience that I CANNOT outrun a cow, at least not in those oversized rubber boots.
I'll keep you posted on the runaway cow updates. Thanks Mom and Dad for making me laugh out loud this week...actually, perhaps I should thank the cow, that is if she's ever caught. ;-)
This just in:
Feb 18 8:04pm Sundown Cow Report. Animal control found her back behind houses on Kemp Rd (address #4421-4389) Tried to Tranqulize her but she ran straight to them and they couldn't get a shot in right spot to do any good. They pretty much said they won't do anything else. Nothing was accomplished today except the cow is 3-5 miles farther away and Steve can't walk.