By Frank J. Buchman
“The calves are out.”
After more than four decades, hollers of such into the kitchen, or around the barnyard, don’t strike alarm, so much as years gone by. Yet, there’s still always immediate call to action of whoever’s available to help get in whatever is out, before it gets on the highway to cause serious danger.
This time, it was half-dozen calves grazing the lawn, evidently more luscious than the green native Flint Hills, where an electric fence wire supposed to keep all entrapped must have shorted, or ran out of juice.
As often as cattle, it’s been horses, and just hours before Maggie dashed out of the barn in orneriness, when we went to put her back into her stall for supper and overnight.
The mare stopped instantly when coming to grass, started eating, bewildered herself why she hadn’t followed routine. Her cautious uncertainty of reprimand was apparent, as we put our arms around her neck and guided the mischievous where she belonged.
Such runaway escapades have not always been pleasant, as we’ve had horses immediately run right onto the thoroughfare causing seriousness to man, animal and mechanical.
Fortunately, not a problem recently, but often in former days hogs would be out. Seemingly always, they’d break down, root under, someway escape no matter the type of fencing, and we still grudge those times to get them back in.
Likewise, on occasion there’ve been sheep, goats, a rooster, pups, now kittens, on the prowl creating ranch havoc until back where meant to be.
This time, the four-month-old black babies were leisurely gorging when the herd manager’s four-wheeler roared. Ears perked, heads up, meander trot became slow gallop as roving bovine remembered where they’d come from, where they should be, and were soon again pacified in 90-acre pasture as momma cows never looked up from nonchalantly chomping Bluestem, unaware young’uns strayed.
Recharged battery on the electric charger put sting back into the wire keeping wanderers home.
Reminds us of John 21:9: “As soon as they got out, they saw greener pastures.” So, Second Chronicles 32: 5: “We went to work repairing damaged fence.” Then, Ezekiel 34:16: “Seek and bring back what has strayed.” And, Numbers 24:11: “Now go back where you belong in a hurry.” Thus, Leviticus 25:13: “Everyone returns to their family home in peace.”