Things don’t always go as planned, even for a ‘great man’
I think I passed the test! My youngest grand told me she could do something I can’t do, and we proceeded to the barn to test this theory. She said testing my ability to be a great man was important and, so, I was getting sorta concerned; remember I am not young and spry anymore! We climbed up the square bale stack and sat on the top bale — not my favorite activity, but she spends time playing in the hay. She signaled to be very still and quiet, listen carefully and “pay attention.”
This child is afraid of nothing! She was born fearless and has broken several bones and carried a shiner or two, so I got to thinking about her trying to scare me with old sneaky snake. I sure hoped I would not scream like a girl and fall to the bottom of the haystack if that was her plan. We sat for about five or six minutes and hardly breathed. I was sweating and she was grinning.
Finally, a tiny little cry was heard from down in the hay. A tiny little kitten had managed to wedge itself in and could not get out. The always-prepared kid produced a flashlight from her pocket and handed it to me as she informed me her arms were just too short! Now, I was relieved and happy to assist the escape of said feline. I handed the kitten to her and we climbed down with both of us happy. She held out her hand and, as she shook mine, she congratulated me for being a great man!
That little episode occurred during the time I was changing the wornout tires on the trailer and putting on new worn-out tires. I hate having flats on the stock trailer and a few other nasty little things that happen to beef producers. We try to keep things ready, stay ahead of trials, run checks on equipment and keep the weather in mind. But even if I have passed the test as a great man, things don’t always go as planned.
I was determined to fill a ditch in the road from the barn lot to the bullpen when we moved here. I hauled rocks and then, the next year, hauled more rocks. I finally got it solid enough to drive the tractor over and that was that. If you ever picked up rocks in the pastures, you can appreciate the chore I had finished.
Then the rains came. Several years worth of rain and I was still driving over the ditch in my truck without a problem, but it was getting lower. I did not notice how much lower — sorta like losing your hair, one strand here and one gone there. I loaded a new concrete feed trough on the tractor on Saturday morning and took off to the bullpen. I did not make it across. The thing gave way beneath the back tires, and there I was! I suppose the trough was just heavy enough to do the deed. I turned the tractor off, waded the muddy draw and walked to the house. Some things are better left to a later time and a fresh outlook before messing around with them.
It is my opinion, and everyone has one, fall calving is one of the things that lighten the load of the man doing the work. The cows do good, the calves are so feisty and there’s not a bit of snow anywhere. The rain doesn’t bother, just makes better grass, and we won’t have a hard freeze for a while yet. We are calved out, and the crop is almost 50/50 again this year with heifer and bull calves. We lost one and almost two others but managed to get enough meds down them to do the job. I will be smiling when you see me at the roundtable!