CowGirl Blue

Yesterday I woke up, went outside to do a qi gong and whoa! a steer stood drinking from the pond. What a handsome creature I thought. Big and black, sleek and shiny. But totally out of place.

First order of this business: boots. The cowgirl guild insists on certain footwear. Properly shod I proceeded to chase him down the road back to the neighbor's barn. The door was open so I thought I would just ease Mr DrinksPondWater right on in. But no. The gate behind the door was blocked.

Back up the road I go to call the neighbor and, even though the booted pajama look was interesting, change the ensemble. The neighbors wife, Shelby, caught the call and sad to say let me know that her husband, also named Shelby, had gone to Charlotte and probably would not return until late afternoon. And lady-Shelby says, regretfully, that she's no cowgirl.

On to plan two. Becoming increasingly important because of the garden. Mr DrinksPondWater could destroy it in about two minutes, less if he was in the mood. And he is getting a bit moody after being yelled at and chased. I could see his point.

The promise of fresh vegetables had become increasing powerful with every inch of growth: crisp cucumbers, delectable swiss chard and the tomatoes. The tomatoes! And finally, after years of failure, truly robust pepper plants. Red and purple. I want those vegetables. I'm going to have them. This much is very clear. MrDrinksPond is not going to destroy this much anticipated harvest.

I decided to drive the van down and block the road. This will confine him to the barnyard. Mr Drinks will be blocked on one side by a fence and the other by a steep drop-off. Good plan. I park, block and walk back up (again) to the house thinking about my next move. I'm feeling good. I have saved the garden.

I realize that I am going to probably have to move the van before guy-Shelby returns. But I've got a couple of hours to see what happens and my altogether heroic efforts have ushered in a calm, seemingly unshakable confidence to handle whatever may come. Maybe I'll take on the current economic debacle as well. Clearly, all the world needs is more cowgirls.

I'm enjoying a cup of tea, considering closely where best my obvious skills belong and suddenly Katy tears across the room to her safe zone under the kitchen table. What now? He's back, that's what's now. Mr SonofaBitchDrinks is making his way around the house returning to the pond. He still has not discovered the garden so he may yet live to see another day. We'll see. I had forgotten how well adjusted this high country herd is to steep climbs. I had not parked quite close enough to the drop-off to block his return and with truly impressive footwork he made his way around the barrier.

I walk down to move the van, yet again. I intend to herd him back, yet again, to the barnyard. I don't want to chance blocking his way down even though it did fail to block his return. If he veers off to the side he could end up in the garden. Tomatoes! Chard! Zucchini! As I'm driving up the hill back to the house he comes running around the corner and straight into the van's path. A truly comic slide stopped him just before the would-be fatal crash.

Back down to block the road. This time even closer to the edge. I'm started to feel a bit winded from the numerous trips up and down the road. It's time to call in help. David is tracked down in town and yes, he'll take a break and come help. He shows up and we start the chase all over again, this time running the high forested hillside. Talk about winded, he's not but I sure am.

But he's not quite so dumb as I'm thinking. He's able to lead David up to where the fence had been broken by a falling limb. He makes his way back into the field, the limb is cut and the fence repaired. What a day. What tales of rural derring-do.

On my way out I saw him again. Not only did he escape through the broken fence it seems he had escaped another one before that and was still yet separate from the rest of the herd. There he was looking sad and lonely. Laying as close to the fence as possible with the herd on the other side. In the end all he really wanted was to be part of his beloved herd. Not so terribly different, are we?