Friday 4th of November 2011 09:20 AM
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
Calls after 10 are not good. My mind flashes first to bad news.
And besides, such calls would usually wake me up from my pre-bedtime doze in the recliner. Last night, though, we had a church meeting, so I was still awake and watching The Mentalist, Randy's favorite show, via DVR.
I made Randy get up and answer the phone. (I did hit pause on the DVR because I'm nice like that.) So I was able to hear his end of the conversation, which went something like this:
"They have yellow eartags?"
"Where are they?"
"Yes, we have some cows over by the 4-way stop."
"They could be ours."
"I don't know how much we'll be able to do in the dark."
"OK. We'll be right over."
You heard the "we" part, didn't you? So did I. That was my cue to turn off the DVR, throw off my comfy fleece K-State blanket and go upstairs for work clothes. We headed for the farmstead, where we picked up the 4-wheeler, and Jake joined the procession in the other pickup.
We found the sheriff vehicle's flashing lights along 4th Street, but by the time we'd gotten our little search team activated, the deputy no longer knew where the spooked cattle were.
But as the deputy described them, Randy no longer thought that the cattle were ours. So we headed on to the milo stalks, where our cows wondered why they were getting visitors at 10:45 at night. (Whew! We just moved them to the stalks, and it would not bode well if they were already escaping.)
Anyway, while Randy was testing the electric fence, he got a call from another neighbor, who had found the five escapees in a field to the north. They weren't his cattle either. But who can resist a cattle roundup? (Yes, pretty much all of us could. We'd still like to be under our cozy fleece blankets at home, but we were there. And it's a neighborly thing to do.)
So we headed for the field where Leonard had them spotted in the high beams of his headlights. The plan was to herd them into a corral in the vicinity. (That homeowner came out after listening to the commotion and seeing all the lights. They weren't his cattle either, by the way.)
Randy unloaded the 4-wheeler. Jake & I watched the lights dance across the field as Leonard's pickup and Randy's 4-wheeler sashayed and weaved, chasing the uncooperative escapees.
Two of them leaped an electric fence. The guys finally succeeded in getting two of them to go through the gate lit by our pickup headlights. And we have no idea where the other one was. Or is.
So we loaded up the 4-wheeler and went home. And I tried unsuccessfully to turn off the mental loop of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
The End. (At least for us. Somebody has cattle to retrieve today.)