Getting Ready for Calves

069“I’ll be bringing the calves on Friday,” said my neighbor towards the end of April. The grass was getting green and the days were warming but the pasture was covered with old dried grass from the prior fall. I decided to fire up the new John Deere lawn mower and mow off that dried grass before the arrival of our charges. I was soon zooming around the pasture on cruise. Oh yes, this tractor has cruise and power steering. I can actually turn the wheel at high speed without crashing into things. Then I discovered that the deer had torn off several poles worth of wire holding spools over the winter. Well, I will just stop and reach over and snap that first one back in the spool without getting off the tractor. As I lean over, the tractor engine gurgles to a stop. What just happened? Oh yes, this tractor has that special stop mechanism that kills the engine when one’s butt isn’t in the seat. It also stops when trying to counterbalance on a hillside. This works great – not! Every time I lean over just a little, the engine stops. No wonder everyone unhooks the safety mechanism. In due time, I do get the pasture mowed and ready.

Friday morning, the calves are dropped off into the middle pasture. By Saturday afternoon, my husband muses, “I wonder if they have found the water yet.” They do look pitiful huddled in that one corner of the pasture. I fill my bucket with grain and slowly approach the animals. The brown one in the group, Aaron – I am told his name is, is curious. He slowly takes one step after another until his nose is touching my bucket. He stands there and stares at me but he won’t eat. I turn and begin to slowly walk away. I hear pounding running feet behind me. I am not sure I should turn my back on this bucking critter. He slows and stops at a small drop off that leads into the narrowed area the ends in the water fountain. He paws the ground, gets down on his knees, and turns his head upside down in the dirt. For a small 300 pound calf, he is displaying very bullish behavior and I am not sure I trust him. Happy that everything is fine, he trots down the alley to the water. The other 3 all follow. They drink and drink and drink. It is obvious Aaron is the leader of this herd.

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