Yesterday was kind of a quiet day. We had just as much work to do as ever, but there was a hushed sort of expectancy as we all waited for the wedding time. After a while, I picked up my camera and went on a little walkabout, seeing the world and making photographs of it. I met up with my neighbor on the way back, and he nodded toward the camera slung across my body. “What are you up to?”
“You know,” I said, “taking pictures is probably my most favorite thing in the whole world to do.”
“What are you taking pictures of,” he asked, since I’d just come up his drive.
“Well, there’s this fence post covered in wild roses I saw the other day, and on my way back, I noticed some hooks hanging off one of your trailers, and the barn up there where you’re having the wedding is just beautiful.”
He looked a little doubtful. Meanwhile, my cow was keeping up a steady bellow a few feet away on our side of the fence. “What is up with her?” he asked.
“She’s in heat today,” I answered.
“What are you going to breed her to? I’ve got a registered Angus bull over here.”
Well. I did not know that. I was going to use Jersey semen, but we’ve had a hard time breeding our cows lately, and I’d not been looking forward to trying to catch her in heat on the same day the vet was open, hoping he was available to AI, and praying it “took” for three weeks till her next cycle, only to find out it didn’t, forcing us to repeat the process until we finally get it right. A nice Angus bull might be just the ticket.
“You just have to let her in through the gate,” he said temptingly.
So I got my cow, and we let her in through the gate, and we made sure the bull noticed her, and then we left them to their business. Two hours later, I came back to check on her and she was all humped up, with her tail extended like she had to urinate. “Is that normal?” I asked. “Or is my cow mortally wounded?”
Normal, it turns out. So we fetched her back out again and took her home. He says nine months to the day, she’ll be having her calf. And I must admit this was certainly easier – and cheaper – than AI! Also, I’m thankful for good neighbors who don’t mind helping a woman get her cow bred, even on their son’s wedding day.