Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fence, Barb-Wire, and Staredowns

OMG, I despise fences. I know they serve a purpose - especially here at dairy central - but in the past two days I've discovered that fences were put on this earth to torment me.

OK, maybe not, but yesterday, I rode in the tractor with Scott to the north fence line. He needed to move the feed bunks in the yard, so he hopped out and opened the fence. Then he asked if I'd want to wait and watch the gate so there would be no escapees.

Sure. So I had a stare down with a couple of them. The cute little jersey - #736 - came up to me and let me touch her (so see, she's definitely a show cow). Scott finished and came back through with the tractor; I picked up the fence and moved it over. That's when I noticed two problems: the barbed wire grazed my leg, leaving a humongous scratch (OK, it's only about an inch long) and I was wearing flip flops and sinking into the mud/cow manure/gunk pretty quickly.

Did I mention that these were my favorite flip flips? Did I mention that I bought them in San Diego three summers ago, and they are the first pair of flip flops that I have thought were comfy? Did I mention I will be requiring a new pair??

So today, I had to cater lunch in the field. No problem. New field, different gate. Right?

When I get there, the fence isn't stretched tightly. Not a problem. I know how to unhook this one (of course, I had to be shown how to tighten it back up about two weeks ago, but that's another story and I am digressing from the point). Obviously, when Mr. Terra Gator went through to fertilize the field, he wasn't confident in his fence-tightening skills.

When I pull on the lever to release the gate, it falls toward me, and not wanting to be scratched by barbed wire yet again, I grab for the post. Only this time, I missed and grabbed the wire. Now I have a puncture wound the size of the Grand Canyon (OK, maybe the size of a pencil lead) at the base of the pointer finger on my right hand. I hope it doesn't affect my writing. :)

Later this afternoon, I had to take a healthy dose of H2O out to the man in the tractor because 1.) he's my husband and 2.) he asked politely if I would bring it to him. Sure, not a problem. He told me I could just stop on my way home from voting (today is Nebraska's primary). I called him to see if I could go in through the east gate and get to field #5. He said there shouldn't be a gate up.

But there is. I tried to pry the heavy gauge wire from the post to no avail. I even tried pushing up on the whirl of wire that is wrapped around the post. If I keep doing that, you know what will happen: the wire will jab through my hand, and I will end up having to go to the ER and have stitches sewn into the palm of my hand.

On second thought, I'll go around to the west side. After all, I have mastered that fence. A quick phone call to the husband lets me know that I can leave the west fence unlocked, but when I get to the cornfield, I will have to open that gate because the black hos (our nickname for the group of black cattle that are more trouble than they are worth) are next to that gate.

Not a problem. Yeah, right.

I approached gate #2 and there they are - the black hos - guarding the entryway to the cornfield like valiant knights. OK, maybe not so valiant. After all, they were snoozing on the ground when I pulled up. By the time I got to the gate, it was time for a stare down: me vs. eight hos. I tapped on the car horn and they scattered. Except for one brave soul who thinks I will be the one to chicken out. I have news for you mister (or sister): I have a 2500 pound piece of metal to protect me from you. That piece of metal has a name: Jimmy by GMC. That's right; I win.

But as I attempted to close the gate -because the husband hasn't secured it tightly in the first place - I had difficulty getting the post into the hole and the barb wire lasso around the other post. Basically, I just stood there, hoping my real knight in shining armor (his armor is a red Case IH tractor) will come and rescue me so I can get out of this field.

And over the mountaintop, (yeah, yeah, it's just a sandhill), I saw Prince Scott riding his valiant steed.

He sensed my dilemma, told me he didn't tighten the fence completely because he knew I wouldn't be able to open it, and laughed as I back up into a grassland of black hos and sand.

Sure, life on the farm isn't always sexy, but there is always something to smile and laugh about. Even if I'm the one who is being laughed at!! :)

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