Is that a Cow on the road?
My name is Dotty and I am a little girl and I live in a little town.
The people in my town are mostly farmers and ranchers like my dad who owns a ranch just out of town.
One winter day I missed the bus and my mom had to take me into town to school. Just as we drove up to the turn-off into town we had to stop because there were cows on the road. Now I do not mean one or two cows, I mean a large herd of cows.
Our car was the first in line to turn into town after the cows, but quite a few cars and trucks were piling up behind us and most of them were unhappy. There were horns blowing and some folks were yelling out of open windows. I could see two young men on ATV’s trying to herd the cows to a lower pasture. This meant that all those cows had to be moved right down the main street of town!
At first I was excited, I was going to be late for school and nobody could get mad at me because there was nothing I could do about it. Then I started to watch what was going on around me and my feelings changed. The truckers were honking and shaking their fists at the young men who trying their best to move the cattle quickly. I could see the postman across the road in his truck hollering from the post office parking lot as he waited to start moving mail. Further down main street I could see people who were trying to drive out of town who were honking and even trying to move their cars along. I spotted the storekeeper out on his stoop with a large broom trying to keep cows away from his front walkway. All of this human activity caused the cows to be horribly confused and those two boys on their ATV’s were not getting far.
Suddenly a semi-truck that was headed the opposite way on the highway began to blow his horn without stopping and it was a terrible noise. All the calves started crying and all the cattle tried to get away from that horn and they started surrounding our car and moving up on the sidewalks and even into some front yards of people who lived on main street. I turned to look at my mom and she did not look happy. I was scared, but I could tell that my mom was angry. I asked her if she was mad because we were stuck and I was going to be late for school.
“No,” she answered, “I am upset because the job of moving this herd is being made more difficult than it has to be by people who are thinking only of themselves. But maybe we can help.”
She told me to roll down my window and to make soft clicking noises like my dad makes when he is working with our cattle. I did and she did the same and she also began to move the car very slowly forward. At first the cows near our car spooked, but soon they started to move along with the car and before long we had turned off the highway and were totally on main street. The postman saw what my mom was doing and began doing the same on his side of the road. He signaled to the honking truckers and the sound of the horns stopped. Soon the cows were moving in an orderly fashion down the middle of the road and the two young men on their ATV’s were able to herd the cattle once again.
Everything was fine until suddenly a calf broke free and ran up onto the sidewalk headed for a front yard. His mother panicked and headed after him, she slipped on some ice and went down on her side and was struggling there on the sidewalk, mooing loudly the whole time. She scared some of the other cows and they stopped moving. I realized that the cars and the ATV’s were not able to get up on the lawn and bring back the lost calf, so I jumped out of the car and ran after him. The calf had stopped and was standing there breathing heavily and so I approached him softly making that quiet clicking sound, just like my dad, and soon I was up next to him, petting his head and calming him down. Once he was quiet, I moved him back down the grass to his mother. By this time she was back on her feet, but she was still upset because she could not see her baby. As soon as I moved him to her side she nuzzled him and quieted down. I gave her a gentle push on the rump and she moved off the sidewalk and back into the road with the rest of the herd and her calf followed.
Then the boys on the ATV’s and my mom and the postman in their cars were able to finish moving the cows into the proper pasture at the end of the street. I got back in the car and my mom was smiling at me. She told me she was proud of me and then she pointed her finger at me and told me never to be someone who just sits and blows her horn, but to be someone who does something about the problem. I promised to follow her advise if she promised to come into the school with me and explain why I was late!
© C. Egbert 2003