Monday, December 31, 2007

Repossessing A Cow... A Dwarf Cow.

You know, since starting this blog thing, most of my writing has been about cows, and hardly day to day stuff at that. I think it's just the plethora of incidents that I've endured and experienced in my cattleman career that make you go "What the....?" Others will hopefully come later, but for now, more cows.

About 10 years ago a cow in our herd had a dwarf calf, just a genetic thing that happens once in a great while that most cattlemen like to pretend "doesn't happen in my herd". But it does. From a monetary standpoint these things are usually pretty much worthless, and therefore just take up space and eat expensive hay and feed, this one pretty much fit that mold as well.

We were culling cattle one day and this rig passed through the chute and was put in the "sell" pen, but in reality it would be the "give it away pen", being worth about zero dollars. When we were done sorting I ended up just putting it in the truck and dumping it out in the fenced side yards at our house with a few head of sheep that we keep there, mostly as just a self propelled lawn mower and entertainment to look at.

Time went on and it was sort of a novelty seeing her there and then one of the most unfortunate things that can happen with farm animals happened.... she got named. Lucy. Naming livestock nearly puts them on the same status as a family member and grants them privileges most other farm animals don't have, such as handouts from the fence of various bovinely sundry items and petting and rubbing and making baby talk.

Lucy the dwarf calf.


Visitors at our house always gravitated out there and one of our neighbors became particularly enamored with Lucy. Before I go further I want to explain the term "neighbor". A neighbor is mostly thought of as a person that lives close to you and exchanges kind deeds and words with you on a daily or occasional basis. "Neighbor" in this case is used as a term describing some people whose house we had to drive by on the way to town.

These neighbors, Duesseldorf and Twiggy (not their real names... maybe) stopped one day, obviously overcome with the desire to own Lucy the Dwarf Calf, and began to intensely question me about her.

Duesseldorf : "Is that as big as she's gonna get?"

Me : "Yeah, she's a dwarf and she's a little over a year old, so yeah... that's pretty much it."

Twiggy : "Why is she a dwarf?"

Me : "Just because"

Duesseldorf : "Can she have a calf?"

Me : "Well, probably not, the calf would be half as big as she is and usually they won't breed anyhow"

Twiggy : "How much does she eat? Do you give her corn? Can she tap dance? Does she do blinkety blinkety blinkety blinkety and drivel drivel drivel and does she drone and drone and drone and...... "

Lord have mercy on me. I just stood and nodded after a point and wished I smoked or had something else to do occupy my time while they asked questions about a piece of livestock that I didn't know existed nor had ever been asked before.

THEN, it came, and I knew it was coming. Duesseldorf popped the question, "Do you want to sell her?" Well bar the door Katy and give me a reason to live, Hell Yeah she's for sale. Up until this moment I figured we were just stuck with Lucy the lawnmower forever and ever, but now was the chance to actually realize a buck or two out of a virtually worthless cow.

I contained my enthusiasm as I stood there and completely stripped the bark off a maple tree a piece at a time time while trying to look nonchalant. Twiggy asked what the price was for her and I just spewed out from somewhere in my brain "250 dollars". Duesseldorf and Twiggy exchanged a glance like newlyweds buying their first home and said in unison "DEAL!"

I loaded up Lucy, hauled her over to their house which is just around the corner from our house and unloaded her in their little fenced off area behind their house. They admired her walking around back there, sniffing all her new surroundings while I thought about all the other things in life that I needed to accomplish.

I looked up in the sky and noticed a lead balloon floating by lazily and Twiggy said to me "Can we pay you later? We're a little short right now." "Later" was soon to be redefined as "Never".

Everytime we went to town we drove by their place and saw Lucy the free cow standing in their little back lot, eating, sleeping, being free, standing and being free some more. I mean it was ONLY $250 bucks but it still irked at me and the irkyness of it grew and grew with each trip by there. THEN icing on the cake. I drove by there one day and standing there by Lucy, dwarfing her (LOL I kill myself) was a yearling Angus bull. Yes, they were giving it the old team effort to breed her. This pairing went on for a few more months and I got a call, not a stop by the house visit, mind you... but a phone call from Twiggy.

Twiggy: "I don't think Lucille (they'd cleverly changed her name to something much more complex than Lucy) will breed"

Me: "You think?"

Twiggy: silence

Me: "I told you that it wouldn't work... she's a lawn ornament and that's 'bout all she's good for."

Twiggy: "I don't think we want her after all."

Right now I'm in total disbelief. Total. I hang up the phone with Twiggy and call my other neighbor (the good kind) and beg off his help to go repossess the unpaid for dwarf cow. We put the trailer on and nary a gate or corral or anything that would help load the now very spoiled Lucy. Spoiled meaning she wanted to run and play some stupid game that D and T must have played with her for hours on end. Meanwhile 2 slightly overweight and out of shape men chased her in circles for 15 minutes getting her in the trailer.

My good neighbor wanted to know "what now?" and I said. "Sale barn!" We drove straight there, unloaded her, she sold and I have no idea on God's green earth what or why or whatever happened in that sale ring, 'cause I wasn't there, but I got a check in the mail from the sale barn a few days later for (drum roll) $525 bucks. Yes. Weird things happen at the sale barn at times and I like to think that 2 more dwarf cow lovers got into a bidding war with this 4 foot tall rig and took her home to a nice fenced yard with sheep and kittens and romping puppies and.....


Vicky said...

....and hopefully not a yearling Angus bull!

Do you get Christmas cards from Lucille? Darn, I'm sorry I missed that sale. She might have been the perfect condo cow!

Happy New Year!

Norma said...

Excellent post!

Kathie said...

thats hysterical...see you wait long enough and you will get paid!
Hope to see the furniture you make along with more pictures of the cows of course!

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

You are soooo funny! I am sitting here and laughing and laughing and my husband finally asks me what I am reading... cows! Cows? Yes, cows and they are funny! I am going to print your posts out to send to my brother - he could use a good chuckle!



Bon said...

Great story. And I think Lucy would have been perfect for Vicky. I bet you could have gotten more $$ from her than from the auction. LOL

Cowguy said...

If it wasn't for that whole constant belching thing that cows do, they'd go far in stand up comedy.

Well that and their unsavory bathroom habits.

Okay... belching, poor bathroom manners and they don't speak. Other than that, they're pretty entertaining.

Glad you enjoyed the post.

JudyL said...

I'm wondering if buying a dwarf calf is any worse or better than buying a daschshund?? Your stories are always so funny.

Mama Koch said...

HEY..good to see you online!

I was thinking maybe dwarf steaks?

Kim said...

I guess it would be a whole lot easier to shake a dwarf cow than a full size cow when you wanted a milkshake, though!