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The unruly eight

The unruly eight


We have our cattle separated into two groups at the farm. There are 27 cow-calf pairs with a bull in the large southwest dam pasture. They are usually pretty agreeable, except a portion of them did swim across the watershed and came home a couple weeks ago, for no apparent reason.

Then there are my disobedient heifers. It’s a group of eight first-year heifers and a bull in the south pasture. Well, they are supposed to be in the south pasture, but so far, I don’t know that they’ve been there more than one day.

Last Friday, they came up missing. The bull had come home to the lot so I didn’t think that they were too far. That Saturday morning I found them in some trees near the big group. Quickly realizing that they were not walking home, we put them in with the pairs.

“Let them settle,” I remember saying. “We’ll sort them tomorrow afternoon.”

With the help of our new UTV, we were easily able to draw them into a sorting pen and load them onto the trailer to take back to their pasture.

All was good when I left the farm that afternoon. The bull had reunited with his girls and they were enjoying green grass.

Last Monday, after listening to a webinar Christian leadership for the majority of the day, I was hoping to finish chores quickly so I could catch the evening sessions. My unruly eight were nowhere to be found, but I thought they might have been in the shaded area where I couldn’t see them.

I thought wrong.

I’m headed home when I encountered them about a half of a mile from their pasture. Standing on the road. Just looking at me. Not anxious about the fact that they were again outside of their assigned perimeter. No bull to be found.

After considering my options, I returned to the farm to change my shoes. My neighbor pulled into the drive and announced “Margaret and Mildred would like to come home now.”

“Margaret and Mildred should have stayed home,” I replied.

They eventually found their way into the pasture with all the pairs with some assistance and a few curse words. Again, their bull was happy to be at home.

I don’t know why these animals have to test the Jesus in me, but as a quick recap: Friday evening I looked for heifers. Saturday we chased heifers. Sunday we sorted and moved heifers. Monday we chased heifers. Tuesday we put up brome hay for the ungrateful herd.

During this time I was watching webinars on self-care and Christian leadership. The book that I’m in the middle of discusses mindfulness and letting go of the hustle. A lot of things that I heard and read spoke to me about the busy, crazy life that I had been leading before the pandemic. A lifestyle that I’m desperately trying not to return to.

But yet, I find myself here in this place. I have a moody soon-to-be teenager, rebellious cows and several other stress producing factors. I feel like I’m far from the serenity that I seek.

How about you? How is the return to your “new normal” going for you?

I feel like there’s a lesson that I should be getting from my cows. Is it that I’m never satisfied with what I have and keep searching? Do I keep leaving God at home like the girls keep leaving their bull?

I’m going to keep thinking about it, but I have been reassured that where ever I am, God is there and with me.


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