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I saw the cow coming, but I was slower than I was at one time and she upended me with a gentle shove. I was flying through the air like a circus act and then the thud was me denting the ground. Betsy, the bawling menace, was satisfied and let me stay in a pile as she returned to her baby that was now out of the wire from which I had saved him. He had wrapped himself up like a Christmas package in some old hotwire fencing he managed to find.

I was surprised when I saw the calf tangled up because we are careful to get rid of loose wire. I have no clue where he found such a nest of it, but he was wound up tight. I cornered him easily -- not much fight left in him -- so I figured he must have struggled for several hours. He stood still as I used my saddle pliers to clip the wire and remove it from his gnarled body.

I like my work, so I was talking low and gently to the calf and we were making great progress. I had it done and he was still as he could be. The calf was weighing about 350 or more and it could have been a big mess. I figured his mammy was busy grazing and did not even look for her.

I got myself up off the ground and did not find any blood oozing, so I figured I was sure lucky! The first couple of steps were staggered, but I got my directions straight and headed for the pickup. The sore spots hurt some but nothing was broken, just battered. Another day in the business and I lived to tell the tale. We face lots of dangers around this place, one of the things about raising beef.

I saw a chart in the farm magazine that listed agriculture workers just below astronauts in dangerous work. We do some flying around here as I can attest to today! But I would not trade it for anything I am aware of. Naturally, we all think it would be great to be debt free and loaded with cash. Ain't gonna happen to 99.9% of us common folks, so we better like what we do.

My neighbors are friendly and keep their fences pretty tight, the grocery store carries my favorite soda pop and the coffee emporium does serve big slabs of pie. I like the area and, even if we get a few strangers around, they usually learn the ropes pretty quick. I like to attend the church that has the big dinners and worships the living God, also has lots of refreshment times. I even enjoy buying feed; it costs too much but I still like to go there because the visits are so nice. Town is just about as close as I would ever want it, so we are in a dandy spot!

It is my opinion, and everyone has one, this is a good life. Some days are darker than others, some cattle die, some dangers are not able to be avoided and the pay does not come with insurance or days off. The perks are better than that, much better! I hope your herd is healthy, your body ain't sore and your close relative has dinner ready when you get there!

Bill is the pen name used by the Gravette area author of this weekly column. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 06/12/2019

Print Headline: Some days are darker than others, but this is a good life

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