I want to show you some more of the awesome photos Jerry took when he was here the other day, and also tell you more about the day. Usually, I’m the one behind the camera, which means there aren’t that may photos of me that show up around here. Which is perfectly fine with me! However, here coming up, my publisher and media are going to want actual photos of me. (Yikes.) Jerry is a longtime friend of mine and, among other things, a professional photographer, so I asked him if he would come over to spend a few hours taking pictures of me with the animals. He generously agreed to give up several hours of his life that he’ll never get back to be dragged around the farm.
After some craziness in the barnyard with the goats, it was time for some cow pictures. I put a few peppermint treats in my pocket, took the lead rope in my hand, and took off to fetch Glory Bee. I spent quite a bit of concentrated time over the summer working with Glory Bee, prepping her for her upcoming starring role as my milk cow. BP has retired; it’s all about Glory Bee now. If you don’t remember, or don’t know, about my harried history with Glory Bee, you might start here. Or heck, just try any one of the posts here in the Cows archives. Glory Bee is spoiled, spoiled, and more spoiled. I made just about every mistake you can make in spoiling a calf. And yet we do have an oddly devoted relationship. I’ve spent a lot of time with her, even if some of that time was spent doing the wrong things. It didn’t take me long this summer to work her up to finally letting me walk up to her, snap a lead on her, and take her where I wanted. I practiced with her in my new milking parlor. Then, I fell away from it–it was too early, too long before she’s due, and I have other pressing business. Glory Bee isn’t pressing quite yet. I just wanted to be sure I could get her when I needed her.
And so, here was Jerry, ready to take pictures, and I was approaching my cow with a lead rope for the first time in six weeks.
In case you’ve never tried to wrangle a cow, let me point out that cows are strong. They look slow and plodding, but they can be quite fast and they’re very powerful. Glory Bee didn’t want anything to do with me.
I was like, “Don’t you remember me? I raised you from a baby! I wave to you every day when I drive by your field! HELLO. It’s ME!”
Every time I tried to snap the lead on her, she bucked and scampered wildly. She didn’t want the peppermint treats THAT bad. Not if they came with a lead rope.
Meanwhile, Jerry’s back at the house, sitting on the bank, watching. Laughing, I’m sure.
I came dragging back to the house. He said, “You give up?”
Give up on my cow? Never! I love my cow, and my cow loves me. I’m fighting for the principle now!
I got a bucket of feed out of the cellar and trudged back to the field, sweaty and frustrated and determined. That bad baby was not going to beat me.
By the time I arrived back in the field, Glory Bee was stationed behind a few slender young trees, peering out at me between their thin trunks. BP was sitting by the creek bank chewing her cud and picking out lottery numbers. I walked up to Glory Bee with my big bucket of bribery and set it down. Ohhh, she wanted it, she wanted it bad. I made sure she could see the lead rope in my hand. No hiding. This is business, missy. She danced around the bucket, not wanting to get too close to me and my lead rope. I backed off a little and let her stick her giant head in the bucket.
Then I whipped the bucket up and walked away with it. Walked away! No goodies for you, missy! Oh my, NOW we have a sea change. Glory Bee romped up behind me. I put the bucket down. She leaned in toward it. I leaned in with my lead rope. She danced back. I picked up the bucket, turned my back on her, and walked away.
We repeated this procedure all the way across the field to the gate.
The closer we got to the gate, the more concerned she became that I was leaving, forever, with the bucket. About a dozen feet from the gate, I set the bucket down again. She danced up to it, eager for the magic carrot I kept pulling away. I showed her my lead rope again, reaching out my hand toward her. And suddenly something clicked. She bumped her head toward me and I knew what she wanted. I reached out and scratched the top of her head. Oh yeah, come to mama. I scratched her behind her top knot and she leaned in to me, begging. Then she put her head down into the bucket and didn’t say boo when I snapped the lead.
That’s my cow! She’s a sucker for some lovin’.
This all goes to show two things. 1. If you don’t practice with your cow for six weeks, they will forget you completely. 2. If you have spent two years lovin’ on your cow, in 20 minutes you can make them remember you again.
And I let her eat her treat then we went on parade.
All the photos in this post were taken by Jerry Waters.
I hate to point out the obvious, but this is the most beautiful cow in the history of cows. And she’s in excellent condition–most likely due to the cream she’s been ingesting from her mommy from birth until….(possibly now).
This is the classic farmer-dragging-a-cow photo.
That one really cracks me up, though in truth, Glory Bee isn’t hard to lead once she’s on the lead, so that was just a “moment” we were having there. Glory Bee is a good walker. Once I have her on the lead, she’s shockingly cooperative.
You know why chickens follow cows, don’t you? (And let’s not forget to note that the chicken is IN the road.)
My cow and I stopped for a little lovin’ here (see how she’s leaning her head down, begging for her scratches), and Jerry said, “So that’s the old one, right?” Obviously, he’s not obsessed enough about my cows to tell them apart.
After having endured the humiliatingly lengthy process of getting hold of my cow while he waited in audience, I was eager for some redemption.
“NO! THIS is the bad baby! NOW you’re impressed, AREN’T YOU?”