Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Every morning when we walk the kids out to the bus, there are cattle standing in the low morning light. I love morning light, and the big blocky shapes of cattle backlit by the sun. Chet is a quivering ball of excitement at the end of his lead, as he looks over the herd, deciding which one he’d most like to chase. It’s not going to happen.
This herd is protected and squired around by a young Angus bull, a beautiful, muscular animal, a rectangle of power. Compare his build with that of ten-year-old Buck, in the pictures toward the end of the post. This one's a lightweight! He often positions himself between us (or more probably Chet) and the calves. I marvel that a single charged wire about two feet off the ground is the only thing between this massive animal and us; that if he wanted to he could run right through it and barely feel it. But he understands electric fencing, and we place our trust in his understanding. There’s Liam, seemingly safe, yet so vulnerable in truth. It is remarkable, this deal we have struck with cattle, to live among them and trust them with our lives.
I like to spy on old Buck the Bull in another pasture a few miles distant. Those of you who don’t know why I love Buck should probably listen to this NPR commentary. Buck has a lot of nice wives, including Betty, who always manages to throw a pretty mouse- gray calf despite Buck's Angus genes. While doing my final bluebird box check and cleanout a little while back, I found Buck nuzzling one of his many girlfriends. I see him in the company of this little red cow quite often. I wish I knew her name. I like to think of her as his favorite. Maybe I’ll call her Scheherazade.What are you looking at?
Nothing. Sorry to intrude.