Psycho Heifer

I had forgotten about that pyscho heifer for nearly 20 years.  When I was younger with chores on my parents’ ranch, I was in charge of feeding that heifer.  She was too young to have a calf, but she must have been sick and pulled away from the herd – I don’t remember.

I do remember going out every morning with a stack of alfalfa hay and a bucket of grain.  The heifer was in a small pen with a tank and bunk in the middle and a metal pipe gate in the corner.  The ritual was the same: I would open the gate, the heifer’s head would fling up and she ran to the corner, I would walk to the bunk and drop in the hay and grain, the heifer (without every making eye contact) raced to the farthest corner and proceeding on bended knees to crawl under the heavy gate.  I remember staring at this crazy heifer and thinking “What the ???,” wondering what I ever did to her.

Cattle are social creatures, so we put in more tame, companion animals.  A normal cow would have been calmed by the presence of other animals.  Not this heifer- she even taught the other calves to be untrusting.  So the ritual never changed, only the number of crazed beasts feverishly crawling under a gate strong enough to withhold an elephant.  Silly creatures.

Yes, I had forgot all about that pyscho heifer until the wildly popular (14.3 million viewers) History channel show about the Hatfields and McCoys reminded me of the strange social conflicts that can develop for seemingly no reason.  Even my beloved grandmother and her sister never spoke for nearly 20 years.  No one, even them, remembered exactly why.  Just like the Hatfields and McCoys. A picture comes to my mind- a gate by the corner booth, with the McCoys on hands and knees digging and clawing to get as far away from the Hatfields  as possible.  Silly creatures.

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