The Caliche Times Vol  2, No  5     9/9/99
(c) Jerry Davis

It Went Bump in The Night

You just never can tell what may go bump in the night.   About 4 am I was awakened by a noise that sounded like something ran into the air conditioning unit outside the house.  So I came to full attention and rushed to the window to see if this was a trophy armadillo.  I knew it was possible to see a little with the twilight produced by the guard light and it would probably be well to check on this.  As I peered through the opening of the curtains, there was an image of something tall and dark with a long tail.  As my eyes adjusted to the low light,   I could see something with a long tail passing from view and disappearing around the corner of the house.  I'm thinking with a tail like that, it must be one of our weaner - heiferettes that are in the lot.   Well, at least they were in the lot, I must have failed to latch a gate chain.  

Cows on The Honor System

I then rush to the front of the house where automatic lights were beginning to come on.  There I could see one cow, one calf and one long-tailed heifer, all red.
Well, these cows are not mine, so I figure they must be my neighbors "cows on the honor system" .  These cows are poor, this may have been the first green grass they have eaten in over two months.   I don't mind sharing the grass with them, but on a freshly water lawn, cow tracks a few inches deep changes the appearance of it somehow.

Sinbad Doesn't let Guard Duties Interfere With Naps

Through the window, I could see the cows and nearby within a few feet was Sinbad The Cowdog all curled up asleep.  Well, with a guard dog on duty as alert as Sinbad, I knew I could take my time getting dressed.  I could see the cows weren't going to bother his nap and he didn't care if they ate the grass.

"Sinbad, you need to project better"

After I got dressed, I went outside with a broom in one hand and a flash light in the other.  I woke up Sinbad and said a few word like "come on Sinbad, let's get these cows out of the yard".   So, I made a few runs at the cows bouncing the broom on the ground and hollering "get out of here".  Well, they didn't seem to understand me, so I tried it again.  The cows moved back a few feet.  I said "OK, Sinbad, sic'um.  Nothing happened, so I told Sinbad, "If you will stand in front of me and bark you could project better and exude more confidence."

The Eyes of the Heifer Told a Story

With all three cows holding their ground and facing me and Sinbad, I noticed the eyes of the heifer.  The heifer only went where the others went because she needed to hear the others and smell their tracks to know where to go.  She was blind in both eyes.   This heifer may have been blind from birth, I couldn't see any pupils in her pink blank eyes.  Now I could better understand why the heifer ran into a large air conditioner close to our bedroom. 

"Sinbad, we have to have a good plan."

So, I told Sinbad, "This blind cow makes it a little harder to drive these cows.  We have to concentrate on driving the sighted cow and calf and hope the blind one can follow."   The concept was good but the implementation of the plan didn't go smoothly.   We could drive the sighted cow and calf for a short distance, but when they stopped to watch us, the blind heifer couldn't tell where the others were and in panic would run headlong into the barbed wire fence on either side of the road.  Me and Sinbad tired of this in a hurry and didn't want to hurt the heifer and handicap her more that she already was.  We left them to graze the tall Johnson Grass along side the road.  Sinbad, lacking respect from these strays,   went back to finish his nap.  Rabbits are more fun to chase anyway, at least they will run when chased.


Terms defined:

Cows on the honor system – cows that know that they can jump the old fence around your place but know if they are not back by breakfast they might be sold.

Exude - in this case it means, "Sinbad, say it like you mean it.  Show these cows this is your territory."

Headlong - she ran head first with considerable speed into the fence.

Heiferettes -    heifers that have reached breeding age but have not been bred.

Long tailed heifers – usually heifers, 20 months or older that are of breeding age. Tails are long enough to touch the ground in some cases.

Lot - Cow lot or cattle corral.

Pink blank eyes -  red cows sometimes suffer from a disease called Pink Eye.  If not treated will result in damage to the eyes and loss of eyesight.

Poor - not well fed, a condition sometimes apparent in Ace Reed's cartoon cows.

Sic'um - to me it means, "Go get'um Sinbad".   To Sinbad it obviously means nothing.

Strays - cows on the loose, looking for that place where the grass is greener.

Trophy Armadillo - an unusually large armadillo.    One large enough to wake up Sinbad The Cowdog.

Weaners or weanies – calves that have reached 6 months of age and are being weaned for a period of 6 weeks.

  Terms coined at Davis Elm Creek Ranch