Boy, do I have a story for you : )

Okay, so I’ve told you about our Akaushis and how they’re a little…aggressive. (Pie says the difference between the Akaushis and the Angus are that the Akaushis don’t quit. Once they go after you, they don’t stop until they have you.) If you didn’t read last week’s story, you’ll want to read that to get a true appreciation for this week’s story.

Before I tell this week’s story, I need to mention our neighbor. I’ll call him Bill. He’s a big guy, bearded and tall and often wears chains, etc. He’s a business owner – logging, snow plowing, trucking and cattle and farming. A businessman. Smart and resourceful. He always has a big bunch of keys attached to his hip. He’s also really sweet and often brings my girls breakfast sandwiches when he stops in in the morning.

However, while he has extensive experience with beef cattle – Angus, Charlois and Herefords – he has never been around Akaushi. So, since he’d come over a few times to help Watson tag calves, he’s been giving my girls a hard time because they don’t want to tag the Akaushi calves. He teases them about being sissies and scaredy-cats, etc. lol Well. : )

So anyway, Sunday afternoon Watson wasn’t home, and the girls and I went to check for calves. We checked the Angus herd and there was one baby that wasn’t hard to tag (once we caught her – she was born running). Even though we had zero plans to tag any Akaushi calves, we checked on them anyway, just to make sure there were no problems and to see if there were any babies so Watson would know whether he would need Bill’s help when he got home.

Now, when I go check the herds, I usually take Ethyl, one of our German Shepherds, with me. Sometimes she runs alongside the four-wheeler, and sometimes she jumps up and rides behind me. Julia and Pie decided they were going to go with Ethyl and me, and Pie wanted to take her dog, a German Shepherd named Roxie. I love Roxie to pieces, but she’s kinda like the Energizer Bunny. Anyway, Julia, Pie, Ethyl, Roxie and I were all on the four-wheeler.

Wait. It gets better. : )

First, I need to mention that I’ve talked about mama cows chasing me as we tag their babies, but usually cows don’t just charge a person for no reason. (Except for #16) But they will go out of their way to charge our dogs. Even mamas with babies that are several months old will charge a dog that’s just minding its own business.

So, when we got down close to the creek and saw that there was an Akaushi baby on the other side with no tag, I didn’t try to take the four-wheeler any closer, but just grabbed a picture of the mama cow. We were too far away and her ear tag wasn’t clear, but since we had the dogs, I did not want to risk getting charged with Julia and Pie with me on the four-wheeler. I wasn’t going to be able to maneuver very well and I didn’t want anyone to get hurt.

Watson and Bill made fun of me when they saw the pic because I didn’t get close enough for them to be able to see the tag from the pic, so they didn’t know exactly WHO had the baby. They laughed at my reasoning/excuse about the dogs and the cow charging and not wanting the girls to get hurt, etc.

On Monday Bill and Watson go down to tag this calf. The mama cow is not excessively large and they aren’t expecting any issues. They ride the Gator down and Bill parks so Watson can get out and chase the mama across the creek. As Watson is getting out, Bill gets his phone out to take a video.

Watson sees the phone and says, I’m not sure that’s a good idea.

Bill wants to know why not.

Watson says these girls can be a little more aggressive than the Angus.

I’m not sure what happened to the phone, but I didn’t see any video of what happened next.

The cow charges Watson, who sprints across the creek to get away from her. He cuts to one side of the Gator, and the calf cuts to the other side where Bill is waiting. Maybe with his phone, I’m not sure, but he misses the calf and it runs by.

The cow and calf go up to the top of the field with the rest of the herd and Bill and Watson get back in and follow in the Gator.

When they get there, Bill gets out of the Gator and tries to sneak up on the calf. Now, Bill is 6′ 5″ and heavy set. He’s hunched over, (to make himself smaller?) legs bent, sneaking slowly, his ring of keys jingling at every step. Hey, he gets points for trying, anyway.

So, that doesn’t work.

They get back in the Gator and Bill tries to cut between the cow and the calf. He’s successful at getting the calf on one side and the cow on the other, so Watson jumps out to distract the cow, while Bill grabs a leg of the calf and tries to get a better grip on it to tag it.

Now, normally, I’m the decoy, and I distract the cow while Watson tags the calf. It’s my job to make sure that Watson doesn’t have to worry about getting charged by the cow while he’s tagging it, even if that means I get clipped or worse by the mom.

So, Watson is not quite as stubbornly determined as I am, and when he realized the cow is charging him (again) he runs and jumps up on top of the liquid feeder.

The cow follows him up.

(I am not laughing.)

(Okay, that’s a lie.)

Watson needs his personal space, I guess, so he jumps from the top of the feeder to the top of the Gator. (I know. It would be hilarious if I could say ‘and the cow followed him.’ But, alas. No.) However, since Watson was treed, (snort) the cow set her sights on Bill, who was over by the fence, trying to get a better hold of the calf so he could tag it. She charges him and he’s not able to get away, and he’s unable to think fast enough to let go of the calf, so the cow ends up pinning him against the fence and digs her head into his stomach. (It’s a good think he’s tall and she’s short, I guess.)

Anyway, Bill lets go of the calf, Watson pulls over and chases the cow away with the Gator and Bill jumps in. They start out and see that the calf didn’t run far. Bill is able to open his door and grab the calf’s leg. The mom charges the door and slams it hard against Bill’s arm. He lets go of the calf. They drive around, switching places so Bill is driving. He’s able to get between the cow and calf again, with the calf on Watson’s side, so Watson opens the door and grabs the calf’s leg.

The mama cow lets out a bellow and jumps in Bill’s window.

Now, Bill is in the driver’s seat, so he could, potentially, drive away. But – and I have to say, I understand this completely because I could see myself doing the same thing – Bill is so disconcerted about the cow and being charged and now she has her head and shoulders in his window trying to get over him to get to her calf, which Watson is attempting to get in the Gator, that he is pushing as hard as he can on the brake AND the gas pedal.

So, yeah, they’re not going anywhere, the Gator engine is roaring like they’re going a hundred miles an hour, the mama cow’s feet are thrashing around beside Bill’s face while she bellows in his ear and Watson is saying, “I almost have it in, just hang on a second.”

I kinda feel like I could sell tickets to a show like that.

Anyway, Watson gets the calf in, Bill takes his foot off the brake and they take off with the calf on Watson’s lap.

Now, if I were writing this for a book, I would now say something like, ‘Watson reaches for the tagger, but it’s not there. They realize they lost it while they were running from the calf and when they go back to get it the calf escapes and they have to catch it again, etc’. Or, ‘they never find the tagger and end up letting the calf go with no tag.’ But, no.

They tag the calf, put it out far enough away from the mama that they feel safe (snort) but close enough that she can see it, and then they drive out of the field.

So, they park the Gator at the barn and as Bill walked to his pickup he was limping and rubbing his arm.

I have a feeling Bill isn’t going to be calling the girls scaredy-cats or sissies any more. : )

Also, just to give you an idea of the empathetic and compassionate person Watson is, when he told us the story, we could barely understand most of it because he was laughing so hard.

Alright, don’t forget to check out the stuff below. (And don’t forget to watch for my daily emails with “soup and cookies” in the subject line!)

Thanks so much for spending time with me today!

Hugs and love!

~Jessie 🌷

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *