Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Great Texas Cow Hunt

This is a very long post...but there was no way I could condense it and still convey it's true effects. Just consider it my week's worth of news contained in one story. Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of diet coke and enjoy!

Friday was a very interesting day in the Goode household...but let me set the stage by filling you in on the events of Wednesday and Thursday first.

Wednesday evening we went over to Albert and Stacy's for dinner and to await the arrival of the newest business venture. Sometime between 3 and 5 pm Brianne was to receive delivery of two bred black brangus heifers. That time was later moved to sometime between 7 and 9 pm, so Stacy asked us over for hamburgers and fellowship as we all waited. Delivery did not go as planned, and around 9:30 we left with no cows in sight.

Thursday afternoon Bri received the telephone call to let her know that the heifers would be delivered that evening. After dinner, she left the house to go back to the Lozanos and await delivery AGAIN. Since Meagan, Davin, Brian and Jessica were over for dinner, we decided to wait until Friday afternoon to go over so that I could take a few pictures. The house quietened down around 9:30 and we headed off to bed, even though Bri was not home yet.

Friday morning, while I was making our coffee, Bri came in from feeding Missy Goat and began recounting the events of the previous night (which we had slept through totally unaware of the drama).

It seems that the cattle were delivered after dark and when Albert inquired as to whether or not to place them in one pasture area over another, he was told that they were very calm animals and thus could be kept in either place. Against his instincts, he agreed to unload the cattle in the same area they kept their young bull, T-Bone. When Bri and Stacy fed all three of the cattle, the young man who delivered them commented how the two heifers were in hog-heaven as they had been raised on grazing and now they were being fed grain. He took his money and headed home.

Fast forward twenty minutes. I am not sure where everyone was at the time...but a loud commotion drew all their attention to the pasture where the cattle were located. Cow #1 had plowed through the fence and Cow #2 had jumped over the fence to follow Cow #1. Thus ensued a night of cow chasing that ended at one o'clock in the morning with only one cow being relocated to the pasture of Albert's first inclination.

Back to Friday morning: I take Jim his cup of coffee into the bedroom and tell him that half of his investment has escaped and is now on the loose. He and Will head out for a meeting about an hour from the house. I am ready to head in to the office, coffee in hand, and Bri is changing her rancher wear (jeans and t-shirt) for office attire. No sooner had Jim and Will left than Bri gets a telephone call that Cow #1 has been spotted by Stacy on her way out of the neighborhood.

Bri runs out the door, jumps in her car and heads off to try and corral the cow. Since I am in flip flops, it takes me a few more minutes to grab some different shoes and throw them in the truck. By the time I arrive at the scene, there is a Constable, a concerned neighbor, Stacy, her daughter and Bri traipsing back and forth down the road and in the woods. The cow has escaped their clutches and headed into the woods.

After thirty minutes or so of no cow sighting, the Constable and neighbor leave. We decide to set up stakeouts on three sides of the woods that the cow has disappeared into. Bri spots her on the other end of the property, but when she crosses the fence to get a better look, the cow bolts. Stacy and a friend decide to go horseback to help in the process. I spot the cow in a pasture area, but as soon as one of us crosses the fence line, off she goes again. This pretty much describes the next four hours of our day...cow spotted, cow disappears, we search, cow spotted, etc.

So many people stopped to offer advice. We are told numerous times to try and lure her out with a feed bucket...but she has only had feed one time. We are told that she will come home...but she doesn't know where home is (after all she was only there for 20 minutes!) I call Jim, "Is there not a service we can hire to come catch this thing? Surely they have a 1-800-Cow-Catcher or something. We do live in Texas, after all."

We call in the Calvary with Brian, Josh and Brice. They arrive about the same time as Jim and Will. The guys set off through the woods to try and find the cow. No cow in sight. We decide to head back to Stacy's to regroup and grab a bite to eat. As we head back down the street into her neighborhood...out of the woods walks the cow. Thus ensues a chase that I cannot properly describe...but as I think back on it, I can't help but laugh. There were people jumping all over the place, vehicles trying to keep her off the side streets, people jumping fences and running through the woods full blast. Alas, she got away again.

Our help slowly dwindles down as people head off to work and other plans. Jim, Stacy, Bri and I take three vehicles and circle the places she has been seen until about 5 pm with no more cow sightings. We finally give up and decide we had better let her be for a few hours and see if she makes her way back to the pasture.

Bri and Stacy were supposed to be working on their big fundraising banquet all day. I volunteered to help them try to catch up on the things that still needed to be done. We work until about 11 pm. As I drive Stacy home, we take it slow through the neighborhood and stop at every shadow, hoping to see the cow.

As we pull into the driveway, I tell Stacy, "I have been praying that the Lord would bring the cow home and we would find her standing in the front yard. I am afraid if He doesn't bring her home, we will never get her back. Oh, well, maybe we can find her tomorrow."

We pull into the front yard so that the headlights will shine into the pasture with the other two cows so we can do a quick headcount. Stacy says she sees one of the cows by the fence...but wait a minute, that cow is on our side of the fence. Could it be the missing cow? Stacy rushes to close the front gate. Should we call Jim? Let's make sure it is the missing cow and not Cow #2 that has escaped while we were gone. Nope, there are two more in the pasture. It's our prodigal cow returned home!

Stacy went in to get Albert. We put the feed bucket that I had been hauling around all day in the front yard with a flake of hay. Poor cow is so hungry she goes straight to the bucket, even though I am only a few steps away from her. Stacy goes out to the pasture to feed the other two because they are hanging at the gate to see what's going on and we don't want to let all three out. Albert opens the gate once the other two are occupied with their meal. I take the feed bucket from her. She steps away and begins to eat the hay. I walk her bucket in through the gate and step to the side of the fence. She studies Albert for a minute, her mouth full of hay. Then she looks at the feed bucket that lies just inside the gate. What the heck? She walks right in and begins to eat.

We are all but jumping up and down with joy at this point! I call Bri and tell her. She thinks I am lying to her at first. Then she says that she, Tim and Will were just talking about how cool it would be if they got home and she was standing in the front yard.

Jim is still amazed that this cow found her way to a home she had barely known from a mile away. We are so thankful that God answers prayers...and that cows are not as dumb as they look!

We now have a better understanding of the old saying "til the cows come home'...they come home when they want to...on their timetable, not ours.


Brenda said...

WOW!! Grampa would go in the morning look early and if he did not find cow he always said cows come home.
Thanks for the eventful post.

Anonymous said...

I wished I could have seen all of this in person. I bet it would have been a hoot to watch all of you tampising in the woods looking for a cow. I'm glad you found her though.


Miss August said...

I'm sure at that time it wasn't very funny at all. But this story made me lol! I glad the prodigal cow came back. :)

Stacy said...

I laugh as I look back on it all - I am still sore from all the running we did - when did I get so old??? That was a wonderful account of the day! :)

Anonymous said...

It is so funny to look back on, but now that i think about it, we have a lot of work to do! Not so much fun anymore, but it was a great bonding expierence lol. Love you momma!!