Steers’ Night Out

Yesterday, a delightful, fluffy snow fell throughout the day, topping off the snow that we had already received the other day during our mini-blizzard. That’s Winter’s version of icing on the cake. It was beautiful. As I drove (carefully) home from work, all I could think about was how I’d love to run around and play in it. But that night I had to be the responsible adult and attend a very important meeting. Which included wine and pizza. Most serious. No snow play for me that night. Winter RoadSo off we went to our meeting, carefully wending our way through white-wrapped roads to our meeting and pizza. And wine. And beer. As a side note, this meeting did take place at a brewery so that explains that. Meeting and pizza done, we got home in the flurry night and started winding down for the evening. All is calm, all is white. I had just gotten into my pajamas, the dog was in his nesting spot, the cat was waiting for popcorn, and Pete was in his jammies…when the phone rang. “Your barn door is open” “No really, your animals are out” That wasn’t really how the conversation went, in fact all I heard was, “this isn’t going to be good”. This is where I went into my invisibility-mode, wherein I squeeze my eyes shut very tight in order to not be seen by humans. Cats okay. Dogs okay. Farmer rustling steer at 10:30 pm…not so much. No, I jest. I did not do that though I may have thought about it, but I must say, I was game to go out in the snow. Didn’t I say I wanted to play in the snow earlier in the evening? And if it means playing with a bunch of wandering steer, game on! So the hell, I just pulled my jeans on over my jammies, pulled my Carhartts over my jeans, accessorized with a pair of winter farm boots and puffy coat and I was good to go. {And oh by the way, I did not take pictures of the events. While I may have been having fun, my husband was stressed. It just did not seem appropriate to whip out a camera while I should be helping. So I only included a couple that I had taken in the past couple days} Onward, The animals in question were up at the home farm, a mile up the road. So we hopped in the truck and drove through the fresh, snow-covered road until lo, hoof marks. Lots of them on the road. Drat, so it wasn’t just a few little calves that got out for a little romp, but rather the big guys. Lots of big guys judging by the hoof marks. Sure enough, as we drove past Pete’s cousin’s farm, we saw a couple steer wandering near there. Okay, drive on to assess the situation. We pulled into the barn drive …steer. Just steer, hanging out in the garage, hanging out in the machine shed, all nonchalant like nothing happening here. Just us dudes hanging out, go back to bed. Ooooh nooo you don’t. Because that’s when the big guns came out swinging a lantern! That’s right, Lucille came out, and so there were three of us to coax the steer back in. And let me tell you, Pete’s mom knows how to let out a good whoop to get cattle moving. All “HOOOOO HEEEEY” and that. Me, I’m a pip squeak. I was all, “c’mon, let’s go, c’mon, good boy”. Sure, that’ll move ’em. But they did go taking their attitudes with them. So that was done, now the second part was to go back down the road and retrieve the rest. Lucille stationed herself at the end of the driveway to hand out road maps back to the barn to any wayward cattle, while Pete and I hopped in the truck to go half a mile down the road. Truck parked in road (okay, I could never do that in Chicago!) we dashed onto his cousin’s farm, gosh no one awake, and ran through powdery, fluffy snow amidst dark, lurking machinery and implements, trying to discern steer from stationary object. I was having a blast! I loved it. Loved running around in the powdery snow, and breathing in crispy, clear air, enjoying the game of Find The Steer. It was seriously like a game of hide and seek. And as it turned out, there was more of a herd there than just the random 3 or 4 I was expecting. Which presented a few logistical decisions. Once we felt we gathered them all together, we then had to herd them to the road. Then the plan changed when the steer decided going field-wise was the way to go. That plan changed again when they decided the road was indeed a better route. That decided, Pete herded on foot, and I ran for the truck and slowly inched along behind. Once the steer reached the driveway with Lucille there handing out road maps, they took a sharp left and headed for the pen in a somewhat orderly manner, obeying all traffic rules and yielding when appropriate. Gate locked, Pete did a final check while Lucille and I stood in the snow and talked of how simply beautiful the night was for a cattle round-up, and how it sure beats working out in a gym any day. So I guess I did get my wish that night to run and play in the snow. I just didn’t think it would be in my pajamas/jeans/Carhartts. But I’d do it again. And there’s a good chance I will! Blustery Holsteins


6 thoughts on “Steers’ Night Out

  1. Hey Micka…you captured the adventure exactly as it happened, and if all the future roundups turn out to be that successful/entertaining….it will truly be a miracle. However, I think the three of us make a great search and rescue team.

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