My girls left the ranch today…


The Girls

I woke up this morning at five-thirty expecting the cattle truck to be here by eight. The breeze felt chilly as I went out to turn on the water hose connected to the plastic trash can we move around for temporary watering.  As I made my way to the corral to spend time with my cows for the last time, across the barn I heard the roosters crow as I closed the metal gate. They were waiting for me. My husband had gathered them up last night and bedded them down with hay and cattle cubes in the corral adjacent to the house. We could hear and see them if they stressed.

We don’t want to sell them, but we have no choice. They are losing weight in spite of the large feed bill we have incurred to keep them healthy during this drought.

I sat for a long time on the ledge of the concrete water tank feeding some of them cubes by hand – especially my treasured #20 and Mr Bull. I dipped a plastic gallon milk carton in the water and placed it on its side to run out slowly. Some came over to lick the water pouring out from the carton.

They were not used to being in a confined area together. Occasionally one would get out of sorts and start butting another one to make her charge the fence. The calves were amazed to see so many milk bags in one place – some couldn’t resist the temptation to cheat! Then, heads would butt again!

Finally, I remembered something I had seen in a movie a long time ago to calm cattle. I started humming a song. The first one to notice was Mr Bull. He slowly walked over to the ledge where I sat and stared at my eyes. For the first time, he stuck his nose through the bars and let me touch his face. As others noticed the sound, they stood silently still. The calves laid down on the hay-strewn ground in the sun. My husband kept me stocked with cubes to use when the spell was broken!

Finally, the truck arrived – I went back into the house to leave the loading to the men. With tears in my eyes, I have to remember this IS life. We have to be prepared for alternate decisions and actions brought by circumstances beyond our control. There will be years of good grass to come, and undoubtedly storms and drought. The blessing is to find the times in between to love and make memories with no regrets.

Moving On

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12 comments on “My girls left the ranch today…

  1. rumpydog says:

    This made me feel sad for you. I’ve heard stories like yours on the radio but reading a person’s first-person account is more potent. I agree that this is life and lots of it is out of our control. But it doesn’t mean I like it.

  2. I’m sorry about the girls… ugh… this weather has been terrible this year. While Texas and the Plains bake, here on the East Coast, we’ve been soaked by flooding rains week after week. How I wish I could send some of that rain to the folks who need it.

    Better times will come soon, I hope, for all of us.

  3. shoreacres says:

    June, if I had deleted the posts that brought me to tears as I wrote, no one would have seen the post I wrote about my mother’s death, or the surprising blooming of my cactus.

    I cried all the way through this one – not just for you, but for everyone who is having to make hard decisions. In a moment of madness, I emptied twenty pounds of birdseed into a field last week. Even the wildlife is suffering so, and with the migrations starting, our new arrivals will suffer along with them. I want to save them all – and of course we can’t.

    There are times when there’s nothing left but to trust – and sometimes, that trust in the essential goodness of the universe is rewarded, as when your cattle went to one buyer. I’m so glad – I’ll comfort myself with that as I sit here and watch the rain scooting around us, leaving us still high and dry!

    • Texasjune says:

      Thank you for reminding me – I went to buy more chicken feed yesterday and forgot the bird seed. Noticed this morning our large family of cardinals is back at the watering tank near the house, with a new Oriole I haven’t seen before.
      I appreciate the encouragement of my writing very much. Sometimes it’s so difficult to share anything but good news. We have an innate desire to be happy. I wish we all could be more often.

  4. Hi June,
    I just read your post about the cows having to leave and I am heart-broken for you. You are correct in having to deal with circumstances that life deals us no matter how unfair and hurting it can be we have to face those moments. Faith in a loving God always helps keep me in perspective of what is yet to come and that I am never alone in those times I do not understand or want to feel.

    You’re in my prayers!
    Love Lisa

    • Texasjune says:

      Thank you, Lisa. During the sale, my little herd received the blessing I never expected – ONE BUYER bought them all including their baby calves to keep them together! When I got the call, I cried all over again. Now I’m sure they’ll be taken care of.

  5. Oh June, that was so beautifully and simply put, it brought tears to me eyes. I am so sorry you’ve had to deal with this. Many hugs. xxxxx.

  6. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    How terribly sad, It must of been a very, very hard day to face. I hope things improve for you in the near future.

  7. Ron Walt says:

    June, you put it so simply, but so powerfully! Brought tears to my eyes.
    I have read ‘best-seller’ novels that don’t come close to what you can do with deceptively simple statements.

    • Texasjune says:

      Oh, Ron, I really appreciate that. I asked my daughter if I should delete anything I write that makes me shed tears, because I don’t want to be depressing. She said no. Her daughterly advise to me was, “Mother, write what you feel and accept how it comes out of your heart – give people a chance to find it useful or just delete it.” I reckon that’s what I do.

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