Posted by: poofergirlsperspective | November 2, 2007

Caleb James

Yesterday I shared a little about our tiny heard of steers and one milking cow that we turned into a beef cow.   Here is a little story about one of our new calves Caleb.  I wrote this in July … before the blog experience began.  As a refresher … here is Caleb in August … with his Mama Corrine … they are rarely seperate so I don’t have a shot of one without the other. 

corrine1.jpg

Meet Caleb James …

It turn’s out that sometimes a baby calf needs a middle name.  Caleb the calf shall now be Caleb James. 

This evening as I was icing my lower back from a strain due to loading the 45 bales of hay onto the trailer Caleb decided to duck the electric fence and run.  To backtrack, I was icing my lower back because apparently I thought that I was cooler then I am while loading the hay.  I tried to jump on the hayrack with little effort like the professional farm girls do.  Turns out that I am not that cool and even a little more uncoordinated than I thought.  The first couple times went ok but that third times a charm saying rang true as I felt something pull in my lower back.  I managed to finish the rest of the hay and headed back to the house dirty, sweaty, and a bit in pain.  Even though I was hurting, I was proud of my efforts and on my way back to the house I noticed how the steers were happily eating grass in their fenced area and the chickens of different sizes were happily running about looking for bugs and chasing moths … it was quite picturesque.  

Once in the house I decided that the sweaty jeans had to come off and pajama bottoms on, all the while thinking that it was only 6:30pm and there was a still a chance of a “drop-in” from a neighbor or egg customer but I was willing to take my chances with the very bright pink pj bottoms that should only be seen by family.   I tried to ice on the recliner in the living room with little success so I managed to make it to the kitchen and discovered that icing at the table would be better, plus I had a pile of mail to look through and there is a much better view of the picturesque farm from the kitchen table.

Not 3 minutes later I look out my window to see my picturesque farm out of sorts with Caleb running outside the fence and looking quite proud of himself.   I bolted for the door and threw on my favorite green boots and headed to see what I could do.  Turns out that there is little I could do with a determined calf who was enjoying his freedom beyond the fence.  I wasn’t too worried (as he has done this before) until he took off towards the road.  He ran and ran … free as a bird.  He would run back towards the house to taunt me and then run back towards the road.  I tried to get him to come into the fence at the gate but he wasn’t interested in coming back in since he had just broken free!   He went back towards the road one more time and in my panic I ran to the house to call for help.  But whom would I call? … I had no idea! 

I decided that the person responsible for these animals would be my best bet.  I have never called Loren at work and thankfully he had recently left an after hours number where I could get a hold of him.  Unfortunately he wasn’t much help.   He said “he will stay near his mom” and I said ” no he isn’t!, he keeps running towards the road!”.  With that Loren had no idea what to say because he hasn’t even been towards the road and that isn’t common.  He told me where to turn off the electric fence and that was all he could tell me to do.  I asked, “so if I let him alone will he go in?” and he replied, “well, he should, but maybe he won’t”.  With those reassuring words I went back out to try to be a farm girl.  I did however decide to change from the comfy yet ugly pj bottoms to the sweaty and dirty jeans … putting on sweaty dirty jeans is no fun but I had a calf on the loose!  I grabbed a piece of twine that was on the front step even though I had no idea what I could do with it.  If there was ever a time to know how to lasso a calf it would be now! 

I continued to yell at him to go in … turns out that baby calves don’t really respond to yelling!, I tried to lower the fence and raise it up so that he could see that it was safe to get back in, I tried everything.  Turns out that even adding a middle name didn’t make him move.  Adding James to his name made me feel better though, as if I were really giving it my all!  For the next hour and a half I waited it out, praying that he wouldn’t go towards the road and really praying that he would just go back in.  He was having a pretty good time though, he had all the yummy grass on the other side of the driveway and he had more freedom now then ever in his short life.  At one point he decided to lay down, I am sure he was tired of taunting me and running around.  I decided that it just wasn’t fair for him to be relaxing during this stressful time for me so I made him get up thinking that he would just give up and go in the fence.  He didn’t, it just irritated him that I wouldn’t let him relax and so the next time he laid down I said “fine .. lay down, at least I know where you are!”.  I sat on a piece of wood by the garage and kept watch.  Getting up off the piece of wood was a bit of a challenge with my strained back but I decided he had rested enough and he needed to get back in that fence and I was willing to try again.  So back and forth and back and forth he went and FINALLY!!! he just popped underneath the fence.  He shot under the fence with little effort of course, as if he knew exactly what I had wanted him to do for the past hour and a half.  Caleb was always a pretty mild mannered little calf, but today he showed some spunk.  I guess that I wouldn’t have ever figured that my sweet little Caleb would become Caleb James … my free spirited calf with an attitude. 

Check back soon to meet Charles Andrew …

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Responses

  1. The best part about that story is that if he stays naughty you can tell it over a steak dinner.

    A “Caleb James” steak dinner. :)

  2. My first visit here. I was somewhere else and they had a note telling everyone this is the blog to see. Anyway. Glad I came. I love photography and I also love to write so when I get to read a good writer I have a ball. I enjoyed your piece about Caleb James. I suggest you learn to “moo” like his momma. That used to work back in the days when everyone had cows, horses, pigs, goats, chickens and ducks.

    I also like your photos.

  3. I have to agree with Abe up there. You are a good writer Stephanie! Another interesting read.

  4. Big grin on my face. LOL. Been there done that!

  5. […] Caleb as I still call him … I don’t know that he is a huge fan of the name but I just […]


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