"These aren't the droids you're looking for."
For those of you old enough to remember this classic line from 1977's Star Wars, you'll know what I'm talking about. (If not, google it.)
Remember - just because this Jedi mind trick works on the feeble-minded, it doesn't mean these AREN'T the droids you really are looking for. So just because you proclaim something, it doesn't make it so.
Those could be the wanted androids, and the cows really could be out. (Do what, you say!)
Saying something slowly and with confidence works in a George Lucas movie, but not on a farm. For instance, take this morning:
Walk into living room and glance through big picture window to see two bull calves staring off into the distance. Hmmmm.... something like this always earns further attention, because this is A CLUE! Walk to window. Note horses also staring off into the distance. Ah HA! Another clue! Note that the rest of the calves are missing. Curse under breath and nod to self. Yep, the calves are out.
(I'm putting bets that it was Paisley's calf and Dancing Cow's calf that led the way.)
Inform Other Half that his cows are out.
"No they're not," he answers with confidence.
I find this answer baffling and tilt my head like a dog listening to a phonograph. Really? Is that how it works? Deny the reality so you don't have to deal with it? I start to argue the point, but he continues to proclaim that the cows are really not out. He has to go into town this morning and drop off the cattle trailer to have the canvas top replaced. He does not have time for the cows to be out. I tilt my head from side to side. Alrightie then. Sounds good to me.
(Sidenote: This just offers me proof positive that the cows WILL be out. If you do not have time to deal with them, livestock will always be out. If you have all day, the missing animals will simply be taking a siesta under a tree somewhere in the pasture.)
So I shrug and head out to the pasture. I feed the horses. I feed the goats. I feed the sheep. I see his missing calves in the neighbor's pasture a LONG ways away, but HEY! The cows are not out, because he said so, thus, I don't worry about it.
He comes out to feed his cows and notes that he only has two bull calves waiting to be fed. Hmmmmm.... at this point I think he realizes that his Jedi mind trick has failed him. I continue to feed my animals. His cows are not my problem, after all, the cows are NOT out. He said so.
He comes driving up on the mule and motions me to climb in. I decline. After all, the cows are not out and there is a cup of coffee with my name on it in the kitchen. He demands that I bring him a Border Collie when I return. Why? The Jedi Master said the cows aren't out.
At this point I see the missing cows are returning to our back fence but cannot figure out how they climbed out, thus they continue northward along the fence line. I see this but go inside for coffee. After all, my caffeine level is low, and his cows aren't out anyway. Go inside and make coffee. That first sip goes down like nectar of the Gods.
Yes, yes. Now, I'm ready to deal with loose cattle.
Go to kennels. Release Cowboy and Trace. Trace zooms off. Cowboy bounces at my feet while I answer my ringing cell phone.
"Bring me a F$#@ing Border Collie!!!"
I assure him that help is on the way. I open the gate and Trace zooms out toward the back pasture. Cowboy walks with me. Then he hears Other Half shouting something and decides that perhaps he should pick up the two bull calves that are happily munching at the trough. Trace decides that perhaps he misunderstood the situation and is needed to gather up these calves and bring them to Pop In The Pasture. Despite my screams to abort this plan, both dogs gather up these calves and begin driving them to Other Half who has called them to him.
The Missing Calves have found the new hole that Other Half just cut in the fence and are climbing back through because they heard breakfast being served. Trace picks them up and soon all the calves are back together.
The dogs take them back to the front pasture where Idiot Trace doesn't want to call off. He is sticky and prefers to stop them and stare at them instead of coming to heel.
Cowboy is older and has a bad back, so he is happy to consider this a job well done and call off.
Other Half finally gets through Trace's thick skull and brings him back to reality.
With the cows back in the pasture, I again take the opportunity to point out that announcing something doesn't make it so. For some reason, he is not in the mood to hear this. I can't imagine why. Thus I point out again and again that the cattle were indeed, out, Out, O-U-T, out. Now he is late. He is wet with sweat. And he still has to fix the hole in the fence. But - I do note that he does not announce there is not a gap in the fence. After all, saying it doesn't make it so.
So our lessons for the day are:
Just because you can proclaim something, that doesn't make it so!
If you are in a hurry, livestock will get out.
If you are in a real hurry, take a Border Collie with you.
Sidenote: No calves, Border Collies, husbands, or wives were harmed during this adventure. Well, Other Half did smash his thumb while fixing the fence, but except for a large blood blister, he is okay. :)