It was a dark and stormy night………..

I”ve been talking about our spring crop of baby calves on Facebook a lot and people seem fascinated so I thought I”d share a story here.
Read carefully to find the PRIZE I”m giving away today and how to get your name in the drawing.
First let me say, we need the rain. It”s cold, it”s muddy and it”s no fun, but we need the rain so FINE!
Here are three calves all huddled together with one mama. I thought that was sort of odd. I”d have thought a mama would huddle with her own calf only, but apparently heat is to be savored no matter how close the relationship.
Wise cow (there is a moron cow coming later-hang in there)
 Here”s My Cowboy walking through the herd, they gathered in a south west corner of our pasture, by some spindly trees because the wind is a bit less there, still not exactly toasty. My Cowboy was looking for 709. That”s a cow with an ear tag that says 709, thus the name.
There was a newborn calf but he was leaving the little guy for last. You (and I, let”s face it!) can”t tell but My Cowboy knew with one glance the calf hadn”t sucked.
Can you look at her udder and tell? Not me, but then it seems a little personal to me so maybe I just don”t automatically STARE. It might be one

of those “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” things.

But My Cowboy knew and so we are presented with a dilemma
It”s COLD. And the little guy is shivering.
We”re a long way from the barn, it”s across the road and the warm bottle of milk we can produce is in the house. And separating the cow and calf isn”t a good thing if it can be avoided because sometimes the cow won”t claim the calf later.
Thus begins the MORON part of this story….most of which I didn”t get pictures of due to My Cowboy”s gently requesting that I “GET BACK IN THE KUBOTA BEFORE SHE KILLS YOU.”
I am ever obedient. (some may say a coward, but WHATEVER)
So normally My Cowboy would attempt to get the calf to nurse. He”d push the little guy up beside his mama and she”d gently moo and nudge him toward warm and live sustaining food.
The Moron Mama made a slightly different choice.
She decided to KILL ANYONE WHO TOUCHED HER BABY!
So this next picture is the Kubota. It”s a little 4 wheeler with a truck bed. You can”t really see it but it has a removeable stock rack on it. It”s usually not there but that night My Cowboy put it on before he went out because he had a feeling he was going to have to haul the calf into the barn, which is outside the fence, across the road and down our driveway.
NO PROBLEM.
Sling the baby into the little pen with 4 x 4 wheels and off we go to the barn with loving obedient mama following.
Then the rodeo begins. (I returned to the Kubota at this point for reasons of SURVIVAL so the pictures no longer record the rodeo)
My Cowboy hoisted the wriggling, soggy little guy into the truck bed, but MAMA WENT NUTS. You have NEVER heard Spelutbud/MjukvaraSom sa pa manga andra ar det framforallt spelautomaterna som dominerar och ar bast hos Casino Room. such bellowing. Like the meanest El Toro you”ve ever heard. She tried to climb into the Kubota and there is NOT room, excuse me!!!
And then, when we had the calf all penned up and My Cowboy had leapt out of the truck bed, run around the Kubota on the side the cow was NOT on and jumped in, to lead the parade home. MAMA MORON RUNS MAD. I mean like she runs AWAY. She SPRINTED straight away from us.
“But WAIT, come back!”
No, she”s searching EVERYWHERE for the baby.
“But you were right HERE. You SAW us put him in the Kubota. You tried to climb in yourself!!!”
We tried.
We really did.
We went after her, tried to get the Kubota close so she could see her baby, instead, she SPRINTED back to the far corner of the pasture to SEARCH SOME MORE.
So … we debated a long time, and by WE I mean I sat while My Cowboy mutter things best not typed here.
He didn”t want to separate cow and calf overnight for fear MAMA MORON will forget she ever had a calf. (they do that when you least expect it!) But he didn”t want to leave it out there shivering, even though he fed it so it”s tummy was full of warm milk.
So, we brought him into the barn.

So late late that night, I (the insomniac half of this marriage) awoke My cowboy to say, “there”s a calf bawling.”

He said, “Probably the new baby down in the barn.”

It was raining and blowing and in all ways NOT a night to be out if you can help it. I hated to be the voice of doom but I said, “It doesn”t sound like it”s coming from the barn.”

At this point the calf bawled and My Cowboy said, “I”d better go check.” Well, he didn”t say that exactly, he muttered things best not typed here. He got up and got dressed and went outside and was gone for a long, long time.

A Long Long Long Long time.

Finally he came back and the wind (the endless, howling wind on the dark and stormy night…) had blown the barn door open and the calf had tried to go back to MAMA.

Which meant the calf had walked down our driveway, across the road, through the ditch and was up against the fence to the cowyard where Mama was. Pretty lively for a little guy who was shivering like mad a few hours earlier.

My Cowboy hoped against hope his mama was would be right there, right across the fence, bawling back, trying to get through to her baby.

He would fling the gate open, shove the calf through and all would be well.

NOPE

Moron Mama was still … well, we didn”t find her until morning but we assume she was in the EXACT SPOT WHERE WE LOADED THE BABY THE NIGHT BEFORE.

Because that”s where she was the next morning. A half a mile away on the far side of the pasture.

So My Cowboy gave up on the mother and child reunion being only a motion away. He wrestled the little calf  away from the fence, through the ditch, across the road, down our driveway and back into the barn.

So in the morning before I got out the door to work, My Cowboy comes in, pretty chipper for 7:30 am on a cold, raining morning and said, “I gave the calf milk but only half of the amount he should get in a bottle, so he”d still be hungry, loaded him in the Kubota, took the calf over, found it”s mama, where we left her last night, and it was a perfect joyful reunion. She claimed her baby without a moment”s hesitation, made the obligatory attempt to kill me and the calf is already sucking.

 The only part of this story that”s not true is the word “obligatory”. What My Cowboy actually said is best not typed here.
Swept Away

To get your name in the drawing for a signed copy of Swept Away, leave a comment and tell me a story of a close encounter with an animal. They don”t necessarily have to have tried to kill you, but it would be fun if they had.

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55 thoughts on “It was a dark and stormy night………..”

  1. Your “mother and child reunion” quote cracked me up this morning, Mary. Such crazy adventures you and that hunky cowboy of yours get into. No wonder you come up with so many wonderfully wild ideas for your stories! 🙂

  2. Fun post. My story involves an encounter with an owl. When I was 14, my brother’s friend brought an injured owl he found on the side of the road to our house. We were all sitting around the kitchen table looking at this poor pitiful owl. All of a sudden, that poor pitiful owl screeched and flew into my face. He didn’t hurt me but everyone’s ears had to been hurting from the that 14 year old girls’ screaming. So funny to think about it now.
    Campbellamyd at Gmail dot com

  3. amyc….attacked in the face by an owl!? That’s a pretty good one.
    I once had a rabid racoon on my porch. I didn’t get close to it but we do have a … ahem …. bullet hole on our porch now. It looks like we had a drive by shooting.

  4. Karen, do you think Paul Simon had cows in mind when he wrote Mother and Child Reunion???? Now it’s hard to imagine he could have been thinking of anything else!

  5. Dear Mary,
    My “ENCOUNTER” was with a very “LONG” and very “MAD” black “SNAKE”. Somehow he had gotten on my mother’s “SCREENED-IN” front “PORCH”. My sister who was there “SAW” the snake before I did.
    She “RAN” in the house “SCREAMING”, there’s a snake on the porch !!!!!
    The only “WEAPON” I could find, was a SWIFFER MOP.
    I could hear my sister “LAUGHING” behind the “CLOSED” front door. I on the other hand “WAS NOT” laughing.
    She was watching me through the “PEEP” hole in the door.
    Like your HUSBAND I too was muttering under my breath.
    After what seemed like an “ETERNITY” the snake was “ESCORTED” out the door.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. Love this, Mary. I’ve been following your calf birthing saga on FB. Learning and laughing a lot. And thanks to you I now know what a Kubota is. Didn’t have a clue. Thanks for the smile.

  7. Janet a very effective use of the Cap Lock button. LOL
    One time my husband, who tends to shout around quite a bit (too often imho) all of a sudden just ROARED from the basement.
    Well, my reaction (we’ve been married 36 years) is to back off and give him space for all the yelling he wants with me at a nice distance until he gets it out of his system.

    So he comes up from the basement and he’d seen a really big snake. All the yelling and racket was him killing the snake and tossing it out.

    I told him someday he’d need me to come when he was shouting and I wouldn’t. I’m officially married to the Boy who Cried Wolf!

  8. Oh, and the animal story. I’ve been pretty lucky, but years ago when I was volunteering as a zoo docent I had a temperamental cockatoo rip my fingernail off. She probably would’ve killed me if she’d been bigger.

  9. I love your life Mary it sounds like there is never a dull moment! When I was younger my family and I lived on a little farm. We had a chicken coop that I loved! I don’t know why but I did. We even had one chicken that would let you hold it and pet it! anyway the chickens weren’t the problem it was our rooster! For some reason it thought it had to attack everything in sight even some the chickens. So we all knew that when we went to gather the eggs we had to take a garbage can lid to fen him out the chicken coop door and block it shut. What ordeal just to get eggs, which most of the time my brother and I tried to give all the eggs to one chicken so she could hatch them hahah. But one day I wasn’t as fast as before and the rooster got in and it was on! I tried to fight him back the lid but no success. So with that I just took off running to the house. He chased me half way until my dog came running at the rooster. When I found my dad I told him what had happened and lets just say my dad, his shot gun, and the rooster all met up. Even with all the attacks I felt bad for the rooster. But Dad got a new rooster after that and he was the most gentle creature ever.

  10. Love reading your stories, Mary. The only time I was attacked by an animal was when I was six years old. It took me forever to climb over a fence to pick berries. After finally making it over, I then saw a bull running straight at me. I dropped my bucket and am happy to say that this time I fairly flew back over the fence.

    I have to say there’s something quite wonderful about a six year old saving herself from danger. From then on I thought I could do anything–but I never went back for those berries.

  11. Last May while I was cleaning, I came accross a snake in the corner near my closed sliding glass door. I woke my sleeping dog immediately and ran out of the house. I saw my one neighbor who is brave about handling snakes and asked her to help me remove it. We got a bucket from my garage and went back into the house. We could not find the snake! He must of went out the way he came in. It’s been almost a year and I still have not seen that snake.

  12. CORI, you poor thing! Roosters can be MEAN. We had regular chickens but we also had banty chickens that we entered in the fair every year. I won a GRAND CHAMPION TROPHY ONE YEAR.

    But one of those was a rooster which, for some strange reason, moved under the motor that ran our milking barn. This heavy, warm thing…I think the rooster liked the warmth. But he lived under there ALL THE TIME. And if you got to close he’d come CHARGING out to attack.
    He reminded me of my Uncle Bruce.

  13. MARGARET!!!!!!!! I gasped out loud when I read about a bull charging. That is NOTHING to mess around with.
    I grew up on a dairy farm and dairy bulls are often KILLERS. Very dangerous.
    We had one once that chased my Grandma up the walls of a shed and she was up there, clinging for HOURS before anyone checked on her.

    Poor old lady.
    (I was young, it might not have been hours)

  14. Oh my… what a story! So many pet stories I have… also a bunch of encounters with outdoor animals… but a fav of mine is my encounter with a hummingbird. It was turning dusk and I was outside… I noticed a hummingbird hanging around the feeder near my house… I went over and he flew around my head a few times… went back to drinking… I went to get my sister’s camera to take some pics… he flew around my head a few more times and then went back to drinking… he stayed there the whole time I took some close up pics… I had the camera within a foot of him and he stayed there… to be that close to something so beautiful was amazing…

  15. Wow, Connie that’s really cool. I love trying to take pictures of my calves and they will NOT stand still, so I know how much you had to enjoy a hummingbird POSING for you. 🙂

  16. Your story was so funny! But I’m glad it ended well for the calf and for your cowboy.

    When I was a little girl we went to the zoo once. When we saw the monkeys, some people (visitors) were feeding them. Of course I wanted to give him a nut too. So I grabbed a nut and stuck it trough the fence. The biggest monkey of all came to me… and bit in my finger!! He wasn’t interested in the nut at all. I’m happy my parents were quick enough to grab me and pull me away, so I still have 10 fingers. :p

  17. My close encounter with a wild animal was in Yellowstone National Park. We entered the park from the eastern side and were driving through to West Yellowstone. We had stopped the car to observe some big horned sheep, when a bison came lumbering down our side of the road. I naïvely opened the car window to get a good photograph — the bison walked right next to our car and then balefully looked at me. Aaaaaah! I rolled up that window ASAP. We drove away carefully so as not to anger him. Yes, I got a close-up picture.

  18. When I was a teen,I had a pony that I would wear bareback,but I did use abridle,,an used to run an jump on him from the behind an away we would go,,we had so much fun,,then one day I ran an jumped an he took off,,uhhh,before i grabbed the bridle,,soooooo he ran up the road with me hanging on to the mane an yelling for help,,man did he gallop,,luckily some man stopped his car an ran an grabbed the reins,,needless to say that was the end of our wild riding,,that was back in the late 60’s an I still miss that little pony

  19. My story is more me being stupid than anything else. lol 🙂
    I was out feeding my dog, who at the time lived in my front yard. I had just filled her bowl, when out of nowhere this big black dog (a little smaller than a full grown lab) shoves me aside and starts gobbling down the food. Then it turns and starts trying to knock the empty container I’d had the food in, from my hand! Well, it startled me so bad that I lost all common sense and started trying to run from it (dumb idea number 1). When it started chasing me, and trying to trip me, I started screaming (dumb idea number 2). I finally got in the house without it biting me (which I was sure it was going to do) and looked back at it thru the window, and noticed its tail was wagging. It had thought we were playing some great new game, when I’d been freaking out! Man, did I feel like and idiot.
    To end the story, the big dog stayed around for a couple days, then we called our local Animal Friends and they found him a great new home, where people weren’t terrified of him, at first glance. And from now on, I pay attention when I meet a new dog and take care to notice its body language before I assume the worst. 🙂

  20. Stefanie, wow, isn’t Monkey Bite Fever often fatal? You are so lucky girl.

    (that might be rat bite fever….and now that I type it Rat Bite Fever might be a Ted Nugent song……..and wait, no, that’s Cat Scratch Fever……..forget this whole comment)

  21. Mary,
    This brought back some cowboy memories for me. My cowboy forbade me near the cows (a lifetime sentence) after I got kicked at close range. I called it “left udder damage.” He said, “Not funny. You could have been killed.” Yes, well, that cow was a bit more trouble than the cowboy would tolerate. We named her Freezer Pack.

  22. KAYE!!!! A buffalo stuck his head in your car!?? (okay maybe that’s exaggerated but I write fiction and in my version, he’d have stuck his head in your car and huffed Buffalo Breath right in your face….jazz this story up a little)

  23. Vickie what a fun memory. You were Little Annie Oakley (or something) good for you.
    We had a Shetland pony and a Welch pony and they were so badly behaved and we had such fun with them.

  24. Sarah that reminds me of the advice I’ve heard that if you face a grizzly bear do NOT run. PLAY DEAD.

    That is so counter to every human reflex that it is just RIDICULOUS advice imho

  25. Rose, you sound like a true country woman. Udder damage? YEEEOUCH!!!!!!!!

    Even little ones can kick like MAD and they’ve got a lot of force behind those kicks.

    A cow is a big animal, you could have been killed?! And then who would be get to read our books, huh? (note that this is again allllllllllllllllllllll about me!)

  26. Hi Mary, as usual, I’m laughing out loud. Your adventures and misadventures as a cowgirl are screamingly funny. And such fodder for stories if you ever want to try non-fiction. Remember the James Herriott books? (if not, read ’em.)

    My worst animal encounter is the pitbull who attacked my yellow Lab. The only time I’ve wanted to kill anything…yet I cried when animal control took the pit away to be destroyed.

    Yikes. what an awful memory that is. My Tawny needed stitches and tons of antibiotics, but was a brave girl and lived many more happy years.

    Good one today! xoxo

  27. I love the blue cow & her calf, I’ve never seen one before. It would depend on who lied to me. I have total trust in my husband, so it would devastate me if I ever caught him in a lie. If it were one of my nieces or nephews, we’d have a long talk about it. I think that trust is such a fragile thing, & it has to be earned.

  28. Sorry, still love the blue cow. But wrong answer to the blog that I just wrote. I have a problem with dogs, I never grew up with them so I’m very skittish around them. Luckily, I’ve never had one attack me, I’d freak out!

  29. Very fun post!

    I can’t think of a time that I’ve had a close encounter with an animal, however I can remember a time when my dad was chased around the yard by a rooster. He has also been chased by geese and swans. It seems anything with a beak will chase him 🙂

  30. Maria P, the reason that cow is blue is because she is soaking wet and I took this picture in a steady rain. I’m sitting inside our Kubota, cold but dry. Brrrrrrr

  31. Tanya, how awful. I’ll bet a big part of your tears were just shock. To witness that fight had to be deeply upsetting you were probably surging with Adrenaline and needed something to let off steam so you WEPT!!!

  32. Maria, I’d have put you in the drawing just for the blue cow comment. 🙂
    We had a neighbor who raised turkeys thinking it was a brilliant idea and she’d sell them for Thanksgiving. They were MEAN. For a full summer her children never went outside because the turkeys would attack and my friend took a broom with her everytime she’d go out to defend herself.
    She never raised turkeys again.

    and I think she REALLY enjoyed them when she ate them!!!!!!!!

  33. There is probably no more dangerous animal than a mama sow defending her pigs but pound for pound the MEANEST animal on the planet is, seriously, a mother hen with chicks. They’re small but they are RAGING MAD if anyone gets near their babies.

  34. If you can call a snake an animal…I don’t..then when I was little playing on my grandfather’s farm in Colorado I ran across many snakes…some poisonous some not…but I didn’t care…I ran from them. I don’t recall any other close encounters with animals….I’m usually a watchful person around animals.

  35. I remember the roosters chasing me when I was little….didn’t much like them when I visited my grandpa. But I did love playing with the little lambs.

  36. I once came face to face with an ugly humungous possum only I didn’t know what it was. (New farm wife at the time). It had its feet planted in the middle of the cat food pan. I locked the barn door. Wasn’t that smart of me? Now it was trapped and couldn’t get away. When my husband got home I told him what I’d done. When he finished laughing at me he took the rifle and we went on a hunt for that cat food thief. Finally found him hunkered back in a corner of the barn behind some fence panels. When my husband had er.. uh.. removed the culprit, guess what we found hiding behind him? A nest of new baby kittens. Bet that mama cat was glad to get rid of that hideous looking thing. I know I was.

  37. Wow what a story! We tried raising some calves on the bucket a few times and didn’t have much luck. We even had one that got pretty good size and then got into something that bloated it. We kept working with it but finally lost it. Its kind of heart braking to spend time like that with them and then loose them. We did raise a few though.

  38. A run in when I was young with a horse. Scared me to death. Never really felt comfortable again with those huge creatures.

  39. The last time I rode a horse I fell off. I was an adult woman with children at the time.

    You know how they say, “If you fall off you need to get right back on!”

    I suppose to finish that old saying it would be, “If you fall off you need to get right back on or you’ll….never ride again? Be afraid forever? Something like that.

    Well as I lay there flat on my back I remember thinking, “I’m good with never getting on a horse again, I think I WON’T get right back on.”

    And I didn’t and I’ve never regretted it.

    I did sit on the back of a long horn bull recently though. So that whole ‘horse saying’ didn’t stop me there. (When it probably should have!!!)

  40. I had an Arab and his name was Sagr and I was able to teach him how to shake in about 10 min. He would always come when he was called and he had a big heart. I miss him tons.
    jennydtipton[at]gmail[dot]com

  41. This was very entertaining, Mary. Probably more to us than it was to your husband. Fortunately, I haven’t had close encounters with cows or other animals for many years. So, I may be making some of this up since my memory is getting faulty. I grew up on a farm. Besides beef cattle, my dad had dairy cows. When the cows would get out of their fence (usually when the electricity was knocked out after a storm, rendering the electric fence useless), we would all have to go out to try to get them back in their pen. Of course, there was always mud, so that made it more challenging. I don’t particularly like cows and didn’t have much to do with them so was always pretty terrified when a cow came my way (they look awfully big when they come at you). I don’t think I was ever hurt by one but I sure hated having to round up the cows. It’s not much of a story, but it’s all I have.

  42. Mary, I so can relate to your mama and cow stories. Been there done that. I could write a book with my stories of my animal encounters. I was a town girl when I married my farmer and moved to a farm with cows, chickens, dogs, pigs, milk cows and a very scarey coyote who liked the chicken house.(That is an another story)I learned to cringe when my new husband said, “Come help me with….” It always involved something I knew nothing about. This particular time it was herding pigs. Pigs DON”T herd and this mother did not want to go where hubby wanted her. I stood holding a section of gate to use to send her the right way. “Just stand there ” he says, “she will turn and enter the hogshed.” Yeah right, She knocked me down and ran right over that gate I was holding and my new husband LAUGHED!

  43. Love your stories Mary. Bet you have many more to share. LOL My close encounter was with a Moose while living in Jackson Hole, Wyo. And, while hunting for Elk, I had split away from my husband, and walked right up on Two Moose. One lying down ant one standing, looking right at me. My heart was really pumping! Have you ever seen a Moose? They are big monsters. Well, I stood very still for a min. or two (He could probably see that I was shaking. Think I even forgot I had a rifle in my hands. Well, then watching him very closely, I took baby steps backward, very slowly. And, when I felt I was far enough to walk away, I turned and made a bee-line to find my hubby. Why didn’t I shoot you’re probably thinking. Well, you had to win a hunting tag by a drawing, so it would have been illegal. But, if he had come at me, would I have remembered to shoot? LOL Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  44. Oh boy! I have the same issue with my horses! I had put my Belgian mare and baby in th round pen to get some sunshine! Therest if the horses were curious and checking out the new baby! I was filling up the water bucket and I went to raise up just in time as one if the other horses walked by ! I just happen to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time!this 1500lb mares head comes over the fence to bite another horse and my head just happened to be in the way! Thank god for headbands or my skull would have been mush! Her top teeth hit it instead if flesh! Her bottom test did make me bleed,but just a little! All mommas look out for their babies no matter what! Thanks for the giveaway!

  45. Hi Mary, My strangest animal story involved a petting zoo, my hubby, my 2 and 6 year old sons and my parents. We were all walking around together and feeding and petting different animals. Then this deer looks at me from quite a ways away. I tell my hubby, looks she likes me. She kept staring at me and then started walking straight towards me. By now the whole family is watching. She walks right up to me and starts eating my shirt!! The one I was wearing!! Suddenly this is not cute nor funny. Except that the rest of my family is about falling over laughing. That dear deer had half of the front of my shirt in her mouth, just chewing away on it. I had to wrestle it back from her myself cuz the fam was too busy enjoying the show. I did get my shirt back, full of deer slobber, and she just turned and wandered off. To this day, my hubby regrets not getting a picture.

  46. Linda I was in a petting zoo with deer once and at first it’s all, “OH, Bambi! So cute, so graceful, so lovely.”

    They they start crowding you and trying to get the food you bought with a quarter in the little machine and slobbering all over you and the deer are suddenly VERMIN!!!

  47. We were at a National Park in Alaska… a lot of the ‘paths’ are actually wild animal trails.. like moose or bear. So we were looking out our windows towards the main building and dining room and saw people walking along the trail… about 20 minutes later… same trail… a very large bear… We stuck to the hallways to get around until we were with trained tour guides!!

  48. I have a rattlesnake story! We lived in Tucson, AZ. We went out the front door one morning and there was a 5 foot long rattlesnake “lounging” on our front porch! Yikes! I screamed for my hubby to “come get it”!!! Our house was the school bus pick up site and I knew a bunch of little kids would be converging soon! Also my high school girls would be leaving soon for school. I sent them out the back yard (none too happy since they had to jump the back fence!) We called the Fire Dept. and they laughed since our address was Rattler St.! They came to get it but it took awhile and my husband had to fend it off with a shovel and a hoe because it kept spitting venom at him! I had to keep the elementary kids away from the school bus pick up site and all the parents of said kids were running down the street to see what was happening! We’ve never forgotten that scary day!

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