Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Close to You

The Carpenter's song runs through my head every time Paul and I attempt to get close to our new cows. Of course, I want to get close to both animals, and yet Sheila makes me a bit nervous.

We've now been in with the girls for a bit of bonding time twice a day. (This is all "we", too...I will pass through the paddock to check on my chickens alone (when they're not blocking my path, like they are in the photo), but won't attempt to stave off two snacky cows my myself!) Yesterday we did the grain-in-bucket trick (it thrills! it excites!), and actually got both Sheila AND Bridgit over to us. Bridgit was still hesitant and preferred to have the bucket on the ground rather than in the air, AND preferred to not have me touch her, thank you very much (although I got some nice pats in while she was peeing! ha ha, can't get away when you're peeing!).

Paul asked me if I'm a little intimidated by Sheila, and I am, I'll admit it. When she's standing with her head up at "normal" level, she's about horn-height to my chest, maybe a bit taller. Her head is big, probably as wide as my body (which is unfortunately wider lately than I'd like). I have a hard time not being intimidated when she tosses her red hair around or shakes her head at my attempt to trick her with an empty bucket. If she wanted to, she could hurt me. I understand I'm going to have to get over that, because it's likely I'll project my wariness and give her the upper hand. A cardinal rule of cattle management is that you HAVE to be the boss, never the cattle. Ahem. I'll work on that.

Meanwhile, I'm pleased Bridgit is more interested in Paul and me, and gleeful that she was curious enough to sniff my hand through the gate after she had an evening drink of water. Granted, her eyes flashed and she darted off soon after, but still, she sniffed me!

"Ahhhh, ahhhhhhh, close to you.... "


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