"Wholesome." This should be a word used to describe bread. Not women.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Breakout Steer

The love I have for my pet steer is endless, even though he wonders if  'the grass is greener on the other side.' Simon has broken numerous fences and in his younger years he even escaped through and under barbed wire. This has always resulted in some sort of embarrassing catastrophe for me.
When my sweet, bottle feeding steer was about one week old I would take him for strolls around our big back yard. My neighbors are all Black Angus ranchers and I'm sure that they all thought I had to be nuts. I dressed him up in my husband's Army jackets and some home made legwarmers to confirm it. Back to the story though. I was walking Simon in the yard and had all of the gates shut so I thought it would be a good time to let him run and play.
I unhooked his lead rope and without hesitation, my little, furry baby cow ran under my barbed wire fence and between the wires of my neighbor's fence into their pasture. My heart was in my throat as I chased my beloved new pet across fences and feilds, in monkey print pajamas and fuzzy bath slippers. I could not find him. Breathless, wild haired, and paniced I was forced to knock on my neighbors' door. The reaction to my frantic pleas for help was to double over in laughter. They put on the appropriate clothes for that fall day and helped me find my little run away, who was hiding inbetween some round bales.
A more recent escape attempt took place in the middle of the day this summer. I was painting the interior of our home when the troubled cries of my 10 year old peirced my ears. "Simon is in the road, Mom!" This time I was in socks, a painters outfit and bandana, chasing my 1200 lb jersey steer down the busy road. The only way Simon could be pursuaded to come home and abandon his adventure was for me to shake a bucket of range cubes and holler, "Simon, want a cookie?"
The reaction to those 4 magical words is always the same. Simon will come running. He will be determined. He will be like Cookie Monster, cow style and he will run right over the top of you if you don't immediately set the cookies down. Well, I was in the middle of the road in socks, shaking the cookie jar. I saw it in his cartoon-wide and wild eyes, he was coming for me. The chasee became the chaser and I booked it far enough into my drive that I could close the gate while he ate his treats. That was the first time he broke the fence.
Simon has broken many more fences since that day. This summer has been the summer of fence mending. Finally, my husband and I decided to replace the old fence along the road to avert any immediate danger. Simon was happy to help. We drove the lawn mower up and down the feild with all of our tools in it while we made repairs. He walked along with us and stuck his nose in everything. He loves to be with us and loves being brushed, scratched, petted and loved on. When this doesn't happen he gets into trouble. He breaks fences and eats things he shouldn't.
When we were distracted with wiring and post driving, Simon stole the keys out of the lawn mower. By the time I looked back from what I was doing, he had my key chain all the way into his greedy, whiskery mouth. The keys were just dangling there. I barely saved the beeper locker thing from being slimed. Bad cow, Simon. I retrieved my keys and we got back to work, which was not what Simon had in mind.
I heard this god awful choking noise and Simon was making a funny face. We ran over to him, and he spit out a work glove, completely covered in slimey Simon spit. It's like having another toddler! We finally have the repairs done to our fence. Lately Simon has been a pretty good boy. No new escapes to report, but I'm always ready for the next adventure with my beloved bovine.

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