Country Woman

Lots of Laughs

Getting this bovine on board was only half the battle.


Getting a steer in the trailer becomes a laughing matter.

Sometimes I pause in my work and wonder: Why do I live so far out of town? Why do I grow my own food? Why do I work so hard for such little appreciati­on? But I always rethink that last question.

I may not receive verbal thanks for all I do, but I do take pride in looking at all my canned goods and a freezer full of homegrown, hormone-free meat, or in hearing my kids list all the types of work they can do because we asked them to work alongside us. It is being able to get out after a snow because I spent hours plowing. It adds up to a job well done—or at least a good effort.

The other day I called the slaughterh­ouse to see if it could take my daughter’s 4-H steer project gone wild. We were in the middle of high school basketball season, so my daughters didn’t have extra time to help, and my husband works an off-farm job.

I was on my own—except for the offer from my twin 4-yearolds, who would be happy to jump in, but I was not up for that. (When I say this was a 4-H project gone wild, I mean you cannot get near the steer without the possibilit­y of getting kicked or charged, so loading him into our stock trailer wasn’t going to be easy.)

Thank the good Lord for giving me the patience I normally don’t have for such things, especially when the temperatur­e is in the single digits. He must have known that I needed it.

I stood out there and begged that steer to get into the trailer.

I tried bribing him with grain and hay. I showed him how, by jumping in and out. And after all my attempts, he still stood there. So I attached a rope to the open door and sat outside his pen for a couple of hours hoping God would send a few angels down to push that big boy into the trailer for me. This went on for four days, but no luck.

Two of my daughters found some time and tried chasing the steer into the trailer. And to their great surprise, that didn’t work either. Finally, I poured more grain into his feed dish in the trailer, walked out of his pen and what do you know? That steer jumped right in.

I closed the door and gloated in my freshly plowed driveway. I messaged my husband, told my children, called my parents. “I did it!” I repeated.

My next call was to the slaughterh­ouse to find out when I could drop him off. They said they weren’t taking animals again for several days. “Are you kidding me?” I asked.

I backed up the 30-somethingf­oot trailer and put that steer back in his pen until the slaughterh­ouse was ready for us. Then I went to the store and bought a steak.

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