Since I married Farmer John there have been numerous occasions when I've been recruited to help chase cattle. I am always reluctant to participate in such endeavors because I don't do it right. The way I know that I don't do it right is that my husband says, "You aren't doing it right."
After a few of my failed efforts to be of help when cattle were out, we reached a consensus: if cattle need to be "put in," it is Farmer John's problem and not mine. The advent of cell phones helped greatly with this arrangement; if I see a critter where it should not be, I just call Farmer John.
However, yesterday afternoon there was a 700 pound heifer grazing contentedly in our front yard (I know she weighs 700 pounds because I became an expert at guessing the weights of livestock being run into the ring at the sale barn when we were selling our cattle this fall). I stood gazing at her for a moment or two and then set my jaw in determination. If I didn't do it right there were would not be a witness; Farmer John had gone to a sale in Topeka.
My little red Ford Escape was conveniently parked in front of the house and I jumped behind the wheel and drove toward the heifer. She gazed at me impassively and decided I posed no threat. She resumed grazing the tasty dandelion greens and crabgrass of our front yard. I gunned the motor, laid on the horn, and headed toward her again. She took the point and ambled down the driveway in the opposite direction I'd intended her to go. The chase was on.
She trotted down the road ahead of me and I opened the gate on the south side of the road. I circled behind her and brought her back to that gate, but she'd already checked it and, having found it closed, saw no point in checking it again.
I opened the gate on the North side of the road. I circled around behind her again and she obligingly turned and trotted down the road. But she had already tried to get in through the gate I'd just opened, and the result was the same as with the south gate. She didn't even cast a glance toward the open gate and down the road she went.
This went on for what seemed like several hours. She finally tired of being chased in circles and jumped over the fence, trotting out into the pasture without a backward glance. I wearily closed both gates and went back home. When I checked the clock I saw it had been only about 25 minutes since I'd walked out the front door.
When Farmer John returned home from his sale he said, "Anything interesting happen around here while I was gone?"
I hesitated just an instant and then said, "No, nothing much."
No use changing the status quo.