Monday, June 28, 2010

Make Your Moove

I grew up on a farm and when my dad quit farming, I decided that getting covered in shit and working really long hours was really appealing to me. I opted to get another job at a farm in town and I truly enjoyed working there. It was very hard work, but it was rewarding: waking up at 4:30 AM to be at work by 5:00, working from then until about 6:30 PM, milking cows, driving tractors, and just generally doing what they show on a Wranglers Jeans commercial. That doesn't mean we didn't have fun working there though. I remember one particular morning, a strange thing occurred...

It was morning milking time and we were just getting started, so I would guess it was probably about 5:30 AM. One of the other guys that worked on the farm by the name of Troy was wandering around before going to feed the cows. I was starting the task of milking and he came walking past me. He and I had a fun little game we liked to play in the morning that went a little something like this:

Me: Hey Troy!

Troy: WHAT?!? (Faking anger)

Me: Fuck you.

Troy: Shut. Up.

Me: Shut the fuck up.

Troy: SHUT. UP!


This would go on until we were shouting obscenities at the top of our lungs at each other for no good reason other than it kind of woke us up at that point in the morning. It ended with one of the two of us waving our hand above our heads with a big goofy grin on our faces, saying, "Mornin'!". The other would be forced to do the same and then we went about our days. It always managed to keep us entertained and happy. I don't know what that says about us, but it can't say good things.

In any event, I was in between a couple of cows, putting on a milking machine when Troy went traipsing past my field of vision. I then proceeded to yell at him:

Me: HEY!

Troy: WHAT?!?!



*Large thump from an indeterminate source*

Troy and I stared at each other for a second, trying to figure out what exactly had made that noise, when all of a sudden Troy got terribly pale and looked to his left at a cow that was laying down. He bolted towards the animal and I did as well. I had no idea what was going on, but judging from the look on Troy's face, something was not going well. I ran over to see the cow on the ground, pulling its collar to an extreme and choking itself. Troy and I leapt into action, Troy going to the front of the animal, grabbing the collar, and tryin to unhook it while I pushed the animal up from the back, allowing the collar to loosen some slack. If you've never tried to move a cow that's dead weight, it's very difficult. A cow can average anywhere from 1200 to 1500 lbs and this was a Brown Swiss cow (one of the larger breeds), so she was probably about 17-1800 lbs. We managed to get enough slack to remove the collar, but the cow just put her head down and laid very still suddenly. Immediately we called for the owner of the farm to come down to help, and he ran to us.

He put his head down and just said she was dead. Now this may seem pretty sad, but it wasn't all that out of the ordinary; farm animals died all the time, it is just a way of life. This cow in particular was old (about 13 yrs old, which is a pretty old cow) and we were pretty sure she had a heart attack. The odd thing was the timing: she literally dropped as Troy finished yelling at me and he just happened to be about 10 feet from her when it happened. We will never know if Troy startled her that much and she died or if he has some super power that allows him to kill bovines by yelling at them to "shut the fuck up", but one thing is for certain...

I am not letting Troy anywhere near my fucking cows. Ever.

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