Today I handled Nutsy for the last time.
We have this cow. Her number is 0118, and since the day we got her, she’s been a thorn in our sides. The man of the house has battled over whether to sell her or not for a couple years now.
She’s crazy. When we get out the grain, open the gates, and start moving cows around, she heads for the farthest corner of the field. When you start trying to move her up to where you want her, she just sticks her nose up in the air and trots around the field like a trotting pony. Her craziness can infect the other cows and, before you know what's happening, normally calm cows will be acting insane too.
She’s smart. She knows exactly what we want her to do, and she is determined not to do it. Finally, you can wear her down enough if you have enough help in the field so that she has no other choice but to go where you want her to. Once she’s resigned herself to it, she knows exactly what to do. She just takes a long time to get to that point. Since we artificially inseminate our herd, her knuckleheadedness can be quite hard to take. (Yes, I invented that word, just for Nutsy.)
We’ve held off on selling her for so long because she is a fabulous mother. She weans off good-sized calves and takes excellent care of them. Every year like clockwork, for the past few years, she’s bred on time and given us a good calf.
Now that beef prices are at record highs, it’s time to say good-bye. We’ve chased that cow across the field for the last time. We’ve put the last quarter in the swear jar on her account. Anyway, she's getting old and this is a good year to cull her before she starts missing cycles.
Can’t say that I’m sorry. When the Man called me today and asked me to put her and her calf up into the corral I groaned. Then I brightened. I said, “Sure. This’ll be the last time I ever have to chase that crazy old cow.”
That’s one check from the sale barn that we’ll really appreciate.