May the odds be ever in your favor–that’s what I think whenever we have to load cows. There are two types of cows in a cattle chute: passive-aggressive cows (a.k.a immovable cows) and aggressive cows (a.k.a. cows that snort and kick). I can’t blame them. I’d be mad too if an annoying creature was pushing me down a muddy hallway into a strange dark trailer. Cows aren’t the brightest animals in the barnyard, but they aren’t stupid either. If I was in a similar situation and a smaller animal, like a squirrel, was pushing on my hindquarters and yelling gibberish at me, I’d kick the fire out of it too.
The problem is cows don’t respect gentle pleas for mutual cooperation, which is unfortunate for introverts. We, introverts, need a good five minutes just to warm our vocal cords up enough to let out a respectable, “Hey cow, move cow!” By that time, first impressions have already been made, and the cows have identified us as a pushover. In fact, statistically speaking there are more extroverts currently in America because way back in the Wild West days introverts were more likely to get pushed over and trampled by cows, drastically reducing their ability to mosey into a town and attract mates with their best Clint Eastwood impression.
Sometimes my wife asks me why we need so much farm junk, and the short answer is, “mud.” When your trailer with four cows on it gets stuck after managing to make it two whole feet from the corral, you need a tractor to pull the truck and trailer out. And when your tractor bottoms out trying to pull the truck and trailer out, you need another tractor to pull out the first tractor and truck and trailer.
Same goes for boots. Farmers have to have multiple pairs of boots to extricate footwear from mud holes. This time of year, cows have a considerable advantage because they don’t have to wear rubber boots in the mud. Boots are notoriously slow to biodegrade, as evidenced by the fact that ancient boots have been located, without their partner boot, in archaeological sites, meaning long ago an ancient farmer was likely hopping around on one foot trying not to get his ancient sock dirty. Whether he fell over and took a breather to wallow in the self-pity of a good mud hole, we may never know–but we do know he left a boot for perpetuity, a sign of man’s endless battle against mud.