Monday, November 8, 2010

Mexican Fighting Bulls

If this is your first time reading my blog, you may not know that I am from Oklahoma and raised on a ranch (my family has cows). Now my father, bless his heart, had three daughters. Of the three of us, I am the one who is the most girly! I don’t like to get dirty, go outside, sweat and I especially don’t like to be around cow poo. Since there are only girls in our family we were still expected to help with the cows on occasion. By “help with the cows” I mean help sort and run them through the cattle shoot to be vaccinated, de-horned and castrated. Working cows for us usually consisted of my sisters throwing cow poo at me and us all dodging the flying cow no-nos that my dad would throw over his shoulder once they were cut off (GROSS, I know!).

One damp and dreary April day (Good Friday to be exact) we had to help work cows. Since our older sister had moved to Indiana, good help was scarce and that meant that I had to help. We had received a lot of rain in the preceding weeks and the corral was crazy muddy. Now imagine tons of mud mixed with cow poo-Yuck! I had made the decision to at least look somewhat fashionable (as fashionable as one in rural Oklahoma can be) on this particular morning. I wanted to wear my awesome hot pink rain boots since we would be sloshing through much and yuck.

My boots looked somewhat like this. A little brighter but not as cool as these.

The cow moving had been going well. Jordan (my sister) and I had been sorting the cows and pushing them through the cattle shoot when we were prompted by dad to send some more down. My dad was giving the cows immunizations and cutting the bulls that were too big to be banded. My mom was being the truck beyotch. This means you have to run back and forth to bring dad whatever he needs. We all call not it at that job, because you have the greatest possibility of being hit by a flying testicle.

If you don’t understand the lingo I will provide a short learning opportunity. (When boy cows are not going to be kept as breeding bulls they have to get rid of their oompa loompas so that they don’t get mean and aggressive. Most cows are banded, where a rubber band is placed around the no-nos until they fall off, when they are little. If there is a boy cow that was a little older and missed being banded they have to get cut. I am guessing you know that if they get “cut” they actually get their hoo-hoos cut off with a scalpel. It is a little sad, but necessary. Please don’t write me about cruelty to animals. I love all animals, but not really cows as you will soon learn why).

The herd was winding down to the last 10-15 cows. (Side Note: Our neighbor had a big bull get loose and he was mixed in with our cows. This bull did NOT like being in the corral. He could literally clear a 4 foot fence). We were left with our neighbor’s big bull, which we were holding until they could come and pick him up, about 8 small calves and a few other mid sized calves. We had finally sorted out the smaller baby cows and were left with just 3 mid sized calves and the big bull. There was 1 cow in particular, a red with a white faced Hereford, who was VERY skittish all day.
Please note that this is not the actual bull, but what I imagine him to look like in my head.

Please note that this is not the actual bull, but what he probably looked like in real life.

He kept trying to get out of the corral and didn’t want to go through the shoot. We had moved them from 1 part of the corral into another small holding pin that led into the shoot. In the commotion of the last move the white faced Hereford had knocked over a 4x4 fence post.

The post looks a little something like this. I remember it as being a lot bigger.

As I was in the pin that was now empty, I felt the urge to move the post and close the gate so that the cows couldn’t get back into the pin they had just left. As I bent down to pick up the post the red Hereford charged at me. I was about half the distance from either side of the pin and I am not in the type of shape to be running and get away from a bull. My only option was to put the post between the bull and myself and hope to scare it by making it think I was perhaps a tree. My bluff failed miserably! The bull hit the post, which in turn hit me right on the forehead. I was thrown back about 6-7 feet and landed on my back. Luckily my little sister was there to save me and pick me up so that I could not get trampled.
Once I have regained my control I started sobbing profusely. Not because of the fact that I ALMOST just died, but because I now had a rather large egg on my forehead and I had cow poo on me.

I should have taken a side portrait so you could see how large it really was. I was also red faced from crying and pouting.  

After that incident I was confined to the tailgate of the truck as I was useless for the remainder of the cow working escapade. Luckily there were only a few cows, including my new white faced Hereford friend. The crazy cow was the last to be worked. After he was cut he refused to stand up in the shoot. He was probably exhausted from his human killing rampage he had just endured. Once this cow finally stood up and was released from the shoot he turned and ran after my dad. My dad is seriously one of the toughest men I have ever met. The cow danced with him for a bit before determining that that target would not go down easily. This is the precise moment that my old friend recognized me sitting on the tailgate of the truck. One look at me and he charged AGAIN. I had stood up in the back of the truck when I saw him coming and he ran smack into the tailgate. This only upset him more and he then charged my mother who was standing on the side of the truck. My mom was trying to climb into the truck, but for some reason her legs were not moving as fast as she thought they were. She made a few small bunny hops and the cow charged her bum a few times before he just ran off.
 
He turned and looked at us like this before running off. EVIL COW!

By this point I am hysterical. This cow had tried to kill me, not one, but twice. I had determined that this bull was a Mexican fighting bull and he was attracted to my hot pink rain boots. I was promised by my father that this cow would be going to the sale yard ASAP. Once I was carted back to the house and I was pouting on the couch I remembered about Natasha Richardson. The English born actress who had bumped her head while skiing and then later died from an epidural hematoma due to blunt impact to the head. So now I thought I was going to die. I was going to die from working cows! I had a minor panic attack and was later soothed after speaking to Jake (my precious husband who is a pharmacist). He assured that I did not have a concussion and that I would be fine, well as fine as someone can be with an egg on their forehead. I guess it was only fitting for an Easter celebration to show my spirit with an egg on the head. I have not worked cows since that day! Haha
This was about 2 weeks after the incident. I had a nice shade of purple eye shadow and some bruising still on my forehead.

2 comments:

  1. You really are the 'girly one' aren't you! You are however not too girly to go on about 'oompha loopahs'...why didn't you just say balls?

    I just hope that your boyfriend/husband is just as educated as you about 'country matters'. It sounds like you work in some sort of office. Do your male colleagues know what happens to the boys who become to aggressive or troublesome?

    I am a farmers son from the UK and I really like your blog...even if it does make me squirm a bit now and again!

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  2. Hi! So glad you found my blog!! I'm sure our processes are different, but I'm sure you got the gist. Thankfully my collegues know what happens to bad bulls! Haha

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