Geranium says, “Babies? What babies?” So many times I have found her pawing the ground and looking thoughtful, but it has turned out she’s only been thinking about her next snack.
Magnolia was four days early. Geranium is now three days late. She is no longer sitting like a dog on her haunches. I believe she’s enjoying the rest in the jug, eating her meals quietly out of the hurly-burly of shoving and pushing at the feeders.
Looking at my records I realize I forgot to pull my ewe Georgie in with the “any minute” moms, so I’ll do that this morning before work.
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On a different front, my heart received a shock last night when I finished mucking the barn and opened the door to call in the cattle for the night. All four young males (three steers and a bull) were missing. The footprints in the snow told the story. Snowdrifts have shorted out the electric fence and made it useless. They were over it and gone.
My matrons, Moxie and Dorrie, stood at the fenceline wringing their hands. I called them in for supper and they came immediately, but they were anxious and bellowing.
I had a sick, cold feeling in my stomach.
Standing in the snow, I telephoned both Larry and Damon to tell them I had loose cattle. Larry has plenty of friends among the state troopers and they believe, mostly correctly, that he knows all the livestock tucked away in our tourist town. He would probably be called if cattle were spotted on the highway. Damon is a local boy and knows everyone else. Either one would drive out to help if I needed him.
I was about to dial 9-1-1 to alert police when Leo, my bull, appeared from the woods at the far side of the fence. His bellow was almost a shriek. As I waded through the snow in his direction, Harvey, Mike, and Marty crowded out of the trees behind him. They were all bellowing and quick to spook, teenaged boys who knew they’d been naughty and were half defiant, half afraid.
I had turned off the fence and now I hurried to take it down in front of them. At last the lines were lying in the snow. All four jumped over the ropes and raced for the barn, plunging, bucking, and corkscrewing in relief. Our adventure is over and dinner is waiting!
I waded after them and bolted their stalls closed. I will have to spend a couple of hours today re-wiring the fence to keep a charge in the deep snow.