Thursday, September 25, 2008

Farm Life: How hard will you work for a hamburger?

"NOOOooooo", they hollered as they watched with wide eyes, "Hamburger is getting away!!". So proudly just moments before, my husband and older children had patted themselves on the back for a job well done. It was in record time they had brought up the cow and placed her in the panel pen to wait until the butcher arrived. She must have sensed this day was "special" somehow and decided since she couldn't go over, under she must go and under she went. The "hamburger" got away!

Next she wandered down by the pond, so rather begrudgingly my husband and the kids followed and soon the chase was on. With lunch in the house waiting to be fixed and laundry waiting to be folded, I just had to stay and watch. Something told me this was going to be entertaining and I wasn't disappointed. Dad (my husband) was giving directions as he walked around the left side of the pond, the kids were to walk around the right side and bring her close to him. He had a rope in his hands and the idea was to rope her around the neck and lead her back to the pen. As the kids drove her closer she spotted Dad and turned around, all the shouts to "stand still" and "don't let her through" was wasted as the brave kids tucked tails and ran. She was a gentle cow who liked her head rubbed when the breakfast grain was fed and liked to leave snotty kisses on the back of the girls' head as they walked by. Not exactly tame but not exactly wild either. She jogged a little way through the trees, around the pond and turned to look triumphantly at Dad...but he was gone. Suddenly he jumped an old fence and raced toward her swinging the rope, he had snuck his way back around the pond and the chase was on once more. Rowdy decided now was the time join in on the action, he quickly fell in line behind the cow and gave chase. For several minutes I watched and laughed as the cow followed by Rowdy, followed by Dad, followed by 4 kids ran one after the other. They were all splishing around the edge of the pond, splashing through the mud and jumped over a maze of ancient fences, fallen trees and forgotten stumps. Laughter, whoops and hollers mingled with snaps of branches, crunching leaves and water splattering filled the air around the edge of the timber and echoed back. Over and over again Dad and the kids got close enough to throw the rope, just barely missing the darting cow.

I knew the plan was to wear her down a little but I was beginning to wonder who was being wore down! Soon Dad stopped with heaving sides and just looked at me. "You could help!" he said huffing and puffing while holding his sides. "I'm not as athletic as you!" I replied from my side of the fence. I got the look, you know the one. Feeling brave I suggested he walk the cow down the fence row to the larger holding pen and try to rope her in there and got another look. From where I was standing I supervised the kids and got them to move the cow along the fence while Dad was sprawled out on a tank to catch his breath. Soon she was in the larger pen and with the help of Dad we got all the panels shut. I figured now was a good time to head back to the house and get that lunch ready, hunger had surely been worked up today!

Soon the troops all came straggling in, "Get "er in the pen?" I asked, "Yep" was the answer. Over a lunch of spaghetti and homemade bread (two starches I know!) we all laughed and retold the funny events leading to the final capture of our "hamburger". "I roped her, Mom!" my oldest boy proudly told me as he loaded his plate. "First try!" he said, I chuckled and raised my eyebrow at Dad. He smiled and nodded his head, "Yep, first try. He roped her as she ran by." My young cowboy sat up a little straighter, forked a big piece of meat out of his spaghetti and said "Yep!, I sure like hamburger!!" I had to laugh as a I told him, "That's deer meat, bud!" :-)

Photo- That's my cowboy!


Evenspor said...

I love your writing. I felt like I was there watching the chase too. Great story.

Brandi said...

What a cute story!

9ndhouse- Katie S. said...

Thanks, I couldn't sleep last night the story just kept circling in my head till I had to get up and post it! Sleep came fast after that and felt sooo goood! I was hoping it would make sense and not be one of those things you just had to be there for. :-)