The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Archive for the tag “black Angus”

I keep looking for a writing prompt in our on-going cow saga

Several days ago, I posted this status update on Facebook:

Here’s what we learned Monday night between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Black cows are hard to see in the dark. Lesa went out back to get the hummingbird feeder at 1 a.m. and heard stuff munching; turned out she was surrounded by maybe 30 cows.

The cows drifted both ways up and down the road, down to Lesa’s folks’ old house, across the road, lots of places at once. Just large sections of darkness moving around. The mooing and crunching did help us figure out where they were before we walked into many of them. The farmer and his wife weren’t happy, so the neighborly thing to do seemed to be to help them round them all up.

I went outside this morning rather tentatively, hoping they hadn’t busted out of the pasture again. So far, so good.

One of my writer friends wanted to re-write the first graph to say:

Here’s what we learned Monday night between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Black cows are hard to see in the dark. Lesa went out back to get the hummingbird feeder at 1 a.m. and heard stuff munching; turned out she was surrounded by maybe 30 cows. Then the murders began.

I told him we weren’t going there. Another writer friend said my update sounded like the beginning of a Dean Koontz novel. I may have read one of those, but that’s not my genre when it comes to writing.

Sure, they look cute in this Wikipedia photo, but in real life, they tear up stuff.

The cows have gotten out several times in the last week, and the farmer who owns the property adjacent than ours hasn’t yet found where/how they keep doing it. They were in the yard again last night, but it was another rainy night in Georgia and so we stayed inside while several guys worked for three hours to round up the cattle and put them back in the pasture.

Fences are always in need of repair. Goodness knows, when my wife’s folks owned the property the farmer now owns, cows got out from time to time, and more than once, we got pressed into service to get them back in the pasture. One stretch of bad fence was repaired a year ago. But there’s probably more work that needs to be done. Well, duh, has people often say.

We fenced in the area of our property where the septic tank’s feeder lines run just because we couldn’t trust all those miles of fences to stay sound. The cows were all around our fenced in feeder lines. Had they gotten in there, their weight in the wet soil from several torrential rains would have caused a lot of damage.

Maybe a short story called “The Black Cow Murders” is the way to go. The thing is, I’m superstitious and worry that if I write about a herd of cattle in our yard, I’ll create the events in my short story–kind of of like self-fulfilling prophecy. So, I’m holding back on a fictionalize version of the cow thing.

It’s possible I can solve the problem by writing a story where the herd of cattle runs off and is never seen again. Hmm.

Malcolm

 

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Stopping by the farm on a snowy morning

We had about six inches of snow here in northwest Georgia last night, and the view of the white fields and trees outside the windows is making it difficult to concentrate on a story I’m writing that’s set in sunny Florida.

Since I’m already distracted, today’s post is filled with snow pictures:

oldgarageOur house sits in the site of the farm’s original homestead. The old house is long gone, but the well, smokehouse, tool shed and garage remain. The aging Ford tractor inside that garage still runs and, when we get around to it, we’ll take the cover off that well and use the water for the new trees and shrubs we’re planning to put in.

cowsacrosscreekThe farm has had black Angus cattle on it for years. Once my wife’s late father retired, he began leasing out the pastures to a neighbor who is slowly increasing the size of the herd. I hope the cow standing in the creek knows how to get back out of it.

pasturegateWe love the trees on this section of the property, some of which are well over a hundred years old. This gate is at the edge of our back yard (though I use the word “yard” rather loosely).

cowseating

Our neighbor moved this feed here yesterday before the snow began. Do you ever notice that when you stare at cows they stare back at you. Occasionally, these critters find bad places in the fence and get out. However, the fences have been repaired so that happens less often. I’m glad none of these were standing on the front porch when I got up this morning.

ourroadA couple of four-by-fours roared past the house a few minutes ago. Otherwise, nothing else is moving on the road in front of the house. If you find any cows in this picture, let me know. We’ll have to tramp out in this stuff for the ever popular coaxing cows back on the other side of the gate routine. (The house in the background is the house where my wife grew up.)

Some of this will melt off today as the temperature goes up. Then the slush will freeze during the sub-freezing night. I think I’ll leave the car in the driveway for now.

–Malcolm

 

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