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Adventures of Calving Heifers

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By Tynie Mader Shaw

It’s my first spring in the ranching life,

   we finally started calving.

Gathered the heifers to the lot,

   I’m giddy and almost laughing.

We were also building a new barn

   to help us with this task.

In fact, the welders had to stop,

   so we could pull a calf.

As we got ready for bed that night,

   my feller lets me pick.

“Which heifer checks would you prefer,

   12 and 4 or 2 and 6?

What? Wait… we get up in the night?

   Don’t think I read that part!

I guess I’ll take the 12 and 4,

   and that was just the start.

I like it best when The Boss is home,

   but sometimes he can’t be.

Those heifers don’t have a pause button,

   when he’s gone, it’s up to me.

Was cooking up a supper meal

   and waiting for one to calve.

She was nearing the two-hour mark

   stove off… let’s go see what we have.

Sigh… still two toes – got her in and pulled the calf,

   a healthy one was saved!

Back to the house… stove on…

   fried up some taters and steak.

There’s been some wrecks while home alone,

   this time his daughter helped.

It was dark and snowing big, fat flakes,

   a spring storm we were dealt.

The heifers were crowded up by the barn.

   their faces and butts were wet.

But a little feller laid in the slop,

   his Mom was anyone’s bet.

We ran some possible candidates

   in through the big barn doors.  

Hadn’t opened one side all the way, 

   and in the heifers poured.

Hadn’t wanted quite that many,

   and yep… the door went BANG.

But, we found the mom, let the others go

  and they bent it the other way! 

You know it’s been a busy night 

   with lots of calves to care.

When you’re making coffee, but still wearin’

   yesterday’s underwear!

And then there’s always taggin’ calves,

   ‘cause they can’t keep ‘em straight.

Most of the time I can get ‘er done,

   but with snorty moms, I cain’t!

I’ll have to ask The Boss for help,

   most times it’s no big deal.

He wonders what my problem is,

   and if I tried for real.

There are some times he needs MY help,

   so I grab my whackin’ stick.

I watch the cow, he tags the calf,

  we’re done without a hitch!

But… this one came snortin’ and blowin,’ 

   don’t  touch my little guy!

The Boss jumped back, I took a swing,

   I really let ‘er fly.

KER WHOP… something caught my stick,

   my space I had misread.

And sure enough my HELPFUL self

   had whacked HIM in the head!

 ** And this just one of the MANY reasons, he wears a shirt that says “If things get any worse, I’ll have to ask you to stop helping **

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