Friday, March 28, 2008

Hot Rod, the Wandering Bull

After we sold the calves this year, we decided that we needed to get a bull, because eventually we would like to have more calves... The problem is, we didn't really want to MESS with a bull. They can be a lot of trouble... they can be mean, and with lots of little girls running around, we didn't want to risk one of them being hurt by a grumpy bull. They also have been known to roam, as (like most males) , they only have ONE THING on their minds. Once all the little cows are pregnant, their work on the ranch is done. Any - hoo, we finally talked to our cattle guy that we've been buying and selling from, and he told us he would just loan us a good bull, deliver it, and then pick it up later. He was impressed with our calves we raised this year, and would like to buy more like them in the future. This all sounded like a GREAT deal to us. Free Bull. No up-keep. No pick up or delivery worries. Happy cows. Happy bull. We quickly agreed.

So... he shows up and delivers us a fine specimen of manly bovine flesh. The name of the bull?? Hot Rod. It said so right there on his tag. Wow.

He seemed to settle in nicely. Followed the cows around like a docile creature. We thought all was well in the world. He showed up at the corral every evening to eat and socialize. Seemed like a well-adjusted male.

Then a few weeks ago... no Hot Rod at the corral. Hmmmm... maybe he was down at the creek getting a drink. No worries. The next night? No Hot Rod. I'm beginning to get a little concerned. Hubby, the gentleman rancher, is equally concerned and perplexed. So much so that he went for a little drive to check the fences. No fences are found to be down, but he does find one that is "leaning". Leaning?!?!?!?!? What could this mean? Oh, yes, it seems that not only is Hot Rod a calf-making machine, he is also a very ATHLETIC bull, as he has leaped over our 5 strand barbed-wire fence, and is gone. GONE. As in , no longer on our land. This is not good, as this animal does not belong to us.

The gentleman rancher peruses the problem. Behind us is about 800 acres. The owner does not live here. In front of us is also several hundred acres, but at least we know the owners well. To the side of us is a large ranch of unknown acreage, along with unknown owners. Luke finally goes to the tax assessors office and explains his problem. They kindly provide him with names and phone numbers of the owners. He calls the out of town owner, who is kind enough to give us permission to enter his land any time we need to do so. Then Luke attempts to call the other owner and learns that... he is in jail. There is no real way to get in touch with him. The ex-wife is not helpful, and wants nothing to do with her former husband or his land. Hmmmmm. How do you get permission from someone you cannot contact? This is a real obstacle. Luke finally decides that since he has made a real effort, he will go there to look if he has to and apologize later if need be.

So, the next step is to phone our local "rent-a-cowboy". We have had to call on his services before, as the surrounding land is too rough for driving with a truck. A horse is the only way to REALLY gather a lost cow. Local cowboy-for-hire says that since we don't really know where Hot Rod is, he will just have to take a buddy and go out looking. No telling how long this will take (or how much it will cost.) We readily agree, since Mr. Hot Rod, the wandering bull, is not ours to lose.

Local "rent-a-cowboy" goes out the next day and spends a half a day searching. He finally finds him, miles and miles and miles away to the east. He was happy... there were other cows there (and they probably weren't pregnant YET.) Cowboy delivered him back home, and deposited his sorry butt in our corral, where he now resides until today, when he is supposed to be picked up and taken away to go and service some more cows on some other ranch.

Good riddance, Hot Rod. You are more trouble than you are worth!! :-)


Anonymous said...

Hot Rod sounds pretty smart to me. Was it High Tail or John that ran to the barn when the neighbor's cows got out and came down the road. Dad put them in our fence until we could get in touch with the owner. Do you remember that? Keep telling us about the farm. I love it. I really thought you had enough when you were growing up! Love, Mom

Shelley said...

That story is so funny! (Well, sort of!) I know what a pain all the animals can be. Glad the "cowboy" found him :)

Amy said...

You're place is starting to sound a little like "Shelley's animal farm!" SO FUNNY! You are such a talanted writer. I love to see those updates!

Anonymous said...

Our Ace store here has "hire-a-husband", but not "hire-a-cowboy"! That story is hilarious. So glad you found him. -Casey