The Gate

My Jersey definitely has character. Compared to my Holstein cross heifer who is a doll, Daisy is rambunctious. That doesn’t bother me though. I like her diverse nature, but she has one fault: a fascination for gates.

I think they bother her. Or else they irritate her. Whichever reason, it’s no matter, because without fail whenever we approach a gate she stops. Dead stop. Right in the middle. And that is what frustrates ME. All my gates are on hills, so to stop in the middle isn’t the ideal spot. For heaven’s sakes, why can’t she stop before the gate – or better yet after we’ve gone through? Not so Daisy. And no amount of coaxing, crooning, cursing, will impel her to budge. Until…

…I see that look in her eye. It’s a sassy, dare-devil, impudent insolence glazing her rolling pupils.

One evening while bringing her in from pasture where she had been tied out, we neared the middle field gate. I gripped the lead rope tighter. “Don’t you do it,” I warn.

My Jersey stepped toward the gate, the lip of the bank curving downhill. It was a short decline, not steep, but with a cow determined to win the Olympic Gold Medal it sure was one rotten spot to stop.

I inched her forward, keeping the lead short and held the switch ready for correcting bad behavior. Two steps. One. Two hooves stepped down the bank. And then….

…Without warning she went into full-throttle and crashed down the bank. The rope slithered like  hot wire through my fingers – mercy! how I escaped countless rope burns I can only thank God! Jerked off balance I catapulted after her retreating hind-quarters thundering down the lane, kicking and hip-hopping with apparent glee.

Hauling with every fiber and muscle in my scrawny being, I dug my booted heels into the ground. Daisy plowed on, oblivious to my hoarse shouting. Finally, with one last almost super-human effort I believe, I dragged her to a stop, feeling the muscles cord and bulge.

I was so mad I was steaming.

And my Jersey, who a moment before had been a little imp, turned a sweet face toward me and gave me a sloppy wet kiss. Hmmm

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