Story of the Day for Monday September 12, 2011
Why I Don’t Have a Story Tonight
You have corrected me, and I was disciplined like an unruly calf.
Tonight, I honestly planned to write a story. It has been a busy day. We ran errands, picked chokecherries, and went to Stan Holder’s birthday party so I could tell him how old he looked (actually, he looks great – for an old guy).
If life was stable and predictable, when we got home, I would have the evening free to write.
Life – and I should have realized this earlier in life – is not stable and predictable. While my wife’s folks are out of town, we are feeding the dog, cats, and giving formula to an orphaned calf. Darla called from her parent’s house to tell me that the calf had escaped from the corral.
This is a problem. We have mountain lion and wolves in the area, and a lone calf is easy prey. And, without milk, a calf is never at its best.
But finding a calf on 150 acres is far more difficult than it may seem. The mountain terrain is rolling, and most of the acreage is forested. Darla drove up the road a mile and then started walking down the mountain. By the time I walked to the ranch she had found the fugitive.
If you’ve never moved cows, you should know that you can’t scare or threaten them into heading in the direction they should go. Instead, you get behind them and patiently push them in the direction they should go.
My wife, youngest daughter, Elly, and I finally managed to walk the straying calf back to his corral. He stood six feet from the gate, but wouldn’t go in. We formed a semi-circle and stood there, so the calf could weigh his options, and make an informed choice.
Instead, the calf bolted. He ran until he was, again, at the far end of the pasture. Elly sprinted until she finally got uphill of him, and waited until we caught up with her.
And then we started the whole process again.
This time I lassoed it, but the rope was old, and broke – and the calf disappeared up the mountain. When we found it, Darla gave it a drink from its bottle, and grabbed it by the ear. This time I had the rope doubled as I looped it around the calf. With Darla and I hanging onto each ear, and Elly holding its tail, we headed back to its corral.
We were exhausted by the time we dragged him back into the corral. And, all the while, this dim-witted, belligerent, exasperating calf had no notion that we were working – not to frighten or harm him – but simply to save his life.
It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that, all my life, while God has been working to lead me back home, I’ve been acting like a stubborn calf.
And that is why I wasn’t able to write a story tonight.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)