Runaway Calves

I was sitting working at my computer desk when a Calf flashed past from the corner of my eye. "Mmm", I thought they must have let the Calves into the other field and continued working. Suddenly, I exclaimed, "What? Did they let the Calves into another field in a thunderstorm? Oh no, Runaway Sue!"

So, I went exploring the upper and lower windows in the house, trying to figure out what was happening. It was pouring rain. At the field gate near my garden, I saw a calf, so I tried to focus and figure out what was happening and if more were out. I saw only two. I returned downstairs and looked out the back window, trying to work out what the Calves were doing and how they had gotten into the field with a closed gate. I noticed the Calves heading towards the canal. Oh no! What can I do? They look panicked and stricken.

I sent the farmer a text message. I couldn't stop thinking about the poor Calves and where they were going. The rain had since stopped, so I decided to go exploring. I went to the far end of the field opposite the front of the house and up the muddy, slippy raised ridge that leads onto the canal. I searched to find the two runaway calves, although I was not entirely sure what I would do when I saw them. None the less, I continued looking. Walking along the canal verge, I saw a Narrowboat approaching, so I gently interrupted them, leading them to slightly edge into the side of the canal. I quickly asked if they had seen any Cows, using my animated hands to translate the vital message. I'm sure they must have thought me barmy, crazy, nuts! No luck. They hadn't seen Cows. Sadly, I had reached a dead end. Returning down the ridge, I quickly looked into the tunnel leading under the canal - almost sinking right into it. Alas, no Calves. I retreated home, hoping the farmer had better luck.

When I got inside the gate at home, The dogs were waiting excitedly for walk time, and I was thinking, but it's raining? Then, I thought, but it's not raining exactly now. Perhaps we could see if the Calves were along the towpath and the dogs could help. So, I strap the dogs up and off we go.

As we begin walking in the first field, we see the farmer. I quickly updated him on the status of runaway Calves, saying that I had looked up the ridge and asked a boat, yet had no luck yet. Useful information, I thought.

The farmer went towards the canal and through the tunnel underneath to see if they went that side, in the fields on the far side. Feeling quite useless, the dogs and I casually went on our walk. It was pretty much the same as typical.

At a point on our walk, we usually go over the canal and back down through the fields. Today, the dogs had decided to pull me through the canal bridge. So, I thought, oh well, I'm enjoying the walk, so why not continue going the direction they wish? I was no longer thinking about the Calves. The rain was still not yet back, so we persisted.

Lo and behold, what did the dogs find? Two Calves, scared and puzzled, waiting at the other side of the gate at the canal entrance. Mmm, what do I do now? I have no idea. I am not built for these sorts of challenges. I called the farmer, and he sounded relieved. I told him the Calves were on the first bridge where I walked by the closed gate, and the dogs and I were on the towpath, and the Calves couldn't go anywhere. We stayed there and waited for the farmer, and the dogs were quite good. The Calves, however, seemed unsure. I decided to talk to them - the Calves, not the dogs. Everything was quite normal. If the Calves looked like they were going to run, I would say "No Stop, Stay." as I don't know Cow commands. The one Calf was quite interested in what I was talking about. The other one, I could tell, was the rebellious ring leader. Anyway, we had a good chat.

Finally, the farmer and another guy come to take the calves. The strategy was I stay where I was so the Calves wouldn't bolt down, and the farmer and other guy would guide the Calves back to the farm. The farmer drew a picture in the air indicating the action plan. I wasn't sure what the picture was - so I just stayed, kept the dogs quiet and calm, and observed, ready to react. The gate next to the Calves was very noisy to open. The farmer had more skill than me and opened it smoothly, then lifted his arms in surrender to the calves, and between him and the other guy, they guided the Calves to walk the right way home.

I am so glad the Calves are back and safe.

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