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— How many times have you told your ‘younger’ to be careful when they are tagging calves? Did they listen to the wise old wisdom from their learned and leathery patriarch? And you are shaking your head in a negative, aren’t you?

We know, those of us who have tagged generations of cattle, we know that some mamma cows are right proud of their babies and will protect them from wolves, bear, coyotes and man. That old cow is tough, mean and fast, no matter which old cow you are talking about. She can spin on a dime and give you back nine cents, maybe even put it in your hip pocket if you are fast enough to be headed away from her.

I am so proud of the full ponds as we head into winter. The water should hold good and it feels like a rich man’s feather bedto have what we need. I know the cattle appreciate fresh pond water; they seldom walk to the fence line to slurp out of the automatic waterers. I believe going to water is to cattle like going to the coffee emporium to us fellers. It is social and it is necessary for a lot of reasons. Some lady cows will not have a calf anywhere but at the water hole. That brings us to the sad subject of this story.

The older of the two male offspring usually tags the calves on the south side of the place. That puts him working double duty during the fall but he likes fall weather. It is a deal he made with his little brother. We always have a cow or two that calves a month late no matter how hard we work at getting them all together. The final one came a couple of days agoand she was born on the dam of the best pond on the place.

The personality of the tagger and the parent of the tagee are pretty much the same. “I will do it!” and “No, you won’t!” are sure enough gonna run head to head and they did. That old black cow was quick and sure. She was between him and the calf in a heartbeat and blowing hot wind with fire in her eyes.

Her experience with this feller had never been good, hot shots and needles, so she was figuring he needed a dang good whupping, one he wouldn’t forget! She hit him in the middle of the chest, knocked him back into the four wheeler and proceeded to get behind him and roll him into the pond. Thank the good Lord she stopped and went back to the calf instead of walking all over him.

He was deep in pond muck and mud but managed to crawl out and get his air back. He was hurt enough to decide to come to the house instead of trying her again by himself. He had to slip up around the bank to get his wheels, give it the gas and outrun her to the far gate.

It is my opinion, and everyone has one, I did my job well. I accept no guilt for sending the younger to do that job. I have explained and explained about taking the extra precautions and they don’t listen. He came in sputtering mud and was mad at me! I wish he had stopped and kicked a hole in the ground before he tried to chew one in me but I can take it!

Of course, my laughter might have been what stirred him up so bad!

Opinion, Pages 7 on 11/18/2009

Print Headline: OPINION? Everybody Has One!!

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