How DO farmer's spend their wedding anniversary?

May 29, 2020

We are doing well on the farm (other than the large amounts of mud! It has been raining not stop for the past two weeks.).  This week, Shane and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary.  I have to share the story of how we celebrated.


My 70 year old father, Perry, had stopped by just as Shane was ready to move a cow from the very far back corner of our field up into the trailer to go to freezer camp.  Instead of putting up electric fence lanes to bring the cow down, Shane wanted to try a new method, the triangle.  What good timing that Perry had stopped by! Dad NEVER, and I mean NEVER helps with farm chores.  He is very gracious to mow our yard and help around the house, but he grew up on a small farm and "been there, done that".  So, I was surprised when he agreed to come help.  He had on tennis shoes so I offered to loan him some rubber boats.  He declined.  

Shane was already out in the field when he summoned us, so Dad and I weaved through the muddy barnyard into the barn.  We then exited the barn when Perry says, "Where is he?".  "Um...way up there!", I reply as the rain begins to fall.  I could tell he was contemplating turning around right then.  But he kept going! The mud only gets deeper behind the barn and at this point, Dad is sinking into the mud, tennis shoes, white socks and all.  We continue to tromp through standing water and mud across the field.  

Five minutes later, we arrive to the furthest piece of our property. "What's the plan?", I ask.  "The triangle", answers Shane as he explains that each of us will hold onto a string forming a triangle around the 1200 pound animal that needs to be ushered across the pond, I mean field.  "First, we just have to separate the necessary one, with a couple cow escorts.  You see, cows don't like to move away from the herd alone.  It's best to move them in groups.  We just keep walking and the cows think the string is electrified and they keep moving to stay away from it.

So Dad and I grab onto the string and try to cut a few cows away from the herd.  Have you been in the midst of 24 cattle running and kicking?  Our cows are usually very calm.  However, they didn't know Perry, so they were a little riled.  Dad then asks what time it is because Jeopardy starts at 5:00 pm and he needs to leave at 4:45.  I check my phone and it's 4:40. 

We get two cows separated from the herd and begin following them across the field, the three of us holding onto a string.  We couldn't get close enough to make our triangle. The cows come to a spot where they have gone around a group of trees.  I feel I should cut back and try to beat them to the pond, but Shane tells me to stay the course.  Then the cows decide they are tired of jogging, they are ready to sprint!  They take off down the hill, heading down to circle the pond and end up RIGHT BACK where they started.  Shane yells, "Run!", as he drops his string and literally leaps over a fence.  Dad says, "I'm not running."  I agree completely.  Ain't no way we are beating those cows so we start walking down the hill.  Meanwhile, Shane is sprinting the opposite direction of the cows in hopes of cutting them off.  I've now lost sight of Shane and the cows.  Dad, "Well, it's time for Jeopardy!" and literally starts walking away from his post up towards the house.  That leaves me, standing in the rain, when Shane starts yelling, "Here they come, here they come!", expecting Dad and I to be standing there with our string.  Little does he know Dad has headed up to watch Alex Trebec and I'm standing there by myself trying to untangle the string that was dropped 200 yards ago.  

Those two cows are running full tilt. Shane is behind them running.  Dad is now not available to actually provide physical help but is hooting and hollering that "you've got 'em now!".  Did I mention it was raining?  Thankfully, we got the right one into the barn rather quickly, at which point she walked right onto the open trailer.    I looked to Shane and said, "This is about right for an anniversary date, isn't it?! ".  You see, two years ago, we ate sandwiches in the barn on our anniversary as we awaited a pig to give birth.  We live really luxurious lives, ya know.

As always, thanks for your support!

P.S. Don't worry, we went out to dinner after chasing cows so it wasn't all lost!  

Rachael Ferguson

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