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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Tale of Two Cows

Posted Thursday, January 27, 2011, at 3:28 PM

This is a story about two very different cows.

The first cow's name was Whitey. (she was all white, thus the name). White was a wonderful cow. If you could get her walking in the right direction, she would lead the entire herd wherever you wanted them to go. She made our job much easier when it came time to move the cows.

Whitey was calm, slow and determined. She could amass 20 0r 30 head of cows in a matter of minutes to take her lead. It was a sad day for us when she was struck by a train. I don't think that we ever had such a great lead cow again.

Cricket was our Holstein milk cow. We called her Cricket, because she had a stiff back leg and her hip would make a distinctive cricking sound as she walked.

When we first got her, all of us were under the mistaken belief that she would be gentle and slow. After a few days of milking her, my sister Bev and I knew better.

Cricket was one of the most uncooperative cows that I had ever known. She was almost evil. I mention Cricket because she was part of our character building. Her timing was perfect. She would wait until you were almost finished milking and calmly drop her foot into the bucket, thus spoiling the milk. Or take a nice bathroom break and flick her nasty tail in your face. (complete with fresh manure). She could outrun you despite the stiffness of her leg.

One day, for some reason my dad had to milk her and that was the end of Cricket. She was enjoyed very much as hamburger.

If you have ever been around cows, you know how to expect the unexpected. They will go through a fence faster that you can herd them through a gate, or run in the opposite direction from where you wanted to go. They have caused great tension in marriages in the spring during sorting or herding.

Whitey is an rare example of what we want in leadership. She was calm, plodding and stayed the course. Cricket would make you think that you were going to get a full bucket of milk, but you would end up with something liquid and green instead.

Today, we find ourselves in a huge cattle drive. We want a good lead cow that restores calm, and keeps moving straight ahead. Instead, we have cows busting the fence, ruining the newly laid crops and demanding to be first in the feed line.

We all know that a good cowboy never sleeps until the herd is settled.

The question of the day is, how do we settle the herd? There are several ideas and theories out there being presented to us. However, if you have ever seen what a feedlot looks like while the cows wait for winter to be over, you know that we are being covered in manure and being told that we should be content because our troughs are full of food.

Settling the herd begins with one calm cow who breaks the trail for others to follow.


Comments
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Oh, I get it!....If everyone's thinkin' alike, then somebody isn't thinkin'.

I love metaphors (what's a meta for?).

Nice touch to our mostly irritable contribitorship. I look forward to more wisdom in your blog.

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Thu, Jan 27, 2011, at 5:45 PM

Part of that might be thinking for yourself, the other part is the need for calm leadership and for change to begin with ourselves.

I enjoy reading all of the blogs. We just have a different way of writting down what is going on in our world.

PS. My sister Bev didn't think that I told enough about how truly evil Cricket was.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Fri, Jan 28, 2011, at 7:20 AM

Love it, and brings to my mind, tension that I've felt between me and mine on a day of moving cattle. And knowing that sometimes, you just have to bite your tongue, it's gonna work out somehow. Maybe different than you wanted the course to be, but at the ending place.

Jessie

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Fri, Jan 28, 2011, at 8:33 AM

I have to say, Wayne read this blog.... and thru the time he read it I heard "I HATE that cow!" "they always do that!" and others like that. He is enjoying your blog too.

Jessie via Wayne Lehto

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Sat, Jan 29, 2011, at 9:36 PM

Spot on, Bonnie! Of course, I know that you made a great example but the visual of the Cricket cow being lead to the slaughter was both rewarding and disturbing at the same time. I was guilty to feel happy that hamburgers would be on the grill. LOL! Can't lead all the "Bad" cows in congress to slaughter but we can certainly retire them to the back pasture to fend for themselves. You serve no purpose other than to produce manure and confuse the herd, you are taken away. Simple!

-- Posted by kimkovac on Sun, Jan 30, 2011, at 8:43 AM

I am filled with wonder about how everyone has interpreted my words. Everyone has gotten something out of this blog and most of it is different than my intention, yet they present an additional valid point.

We are like cattle who have been satisfied with just having our troughs filled with food and ignoring the other essentials to the quality of life.

Sometimes we seek out leadership and will accept any direction that the lead cow is heading. The reality is that when you are living the life that God intended for you, you are not deceived by the full trough, you don't want to live in a stock yard filled with manure. As you guessed the running theme of my blogs will be personal responsibility.

We need to move beyond the "Crickets" of our lives and build on the lessons that they have taught us.. Unfortunately, there are too many people still following the "feed truck" to realize that our personal values are being compromised.

Our founding fathers took on personal responsibility to establish the most blessed country in the world. It took discipline and great sacrifice.

That being said, the comments and interpretations have given me even more things to think about.

Thank you for the great insights that you have posted. Life would be indeed dull if we all thought the same way.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Sun, Jan 30, 2011, at 6:06 PM


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Walking the Fence Line
Bonnie Bird
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.
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