By Jack H. Smith
Whitehall Ledger 

COLUMN: Moo

 


Throughout the years I've moved around quite a bit and had a lot of different neighbors. Some of them have become friends, some of them barely said a word, there were plenty that were mean, and have made for some very interesting stories.

The one thing they all had in common from the oddities of my college next door neighbor Bodan to the way Larry Hall used to mow his lawn about 15 times a week is the fact they were very much human. This isn't quite the case anymore.

Right off of my backyard and to one side of the house my new neighbors are cattle and it has been a very interesting couple of weeks.

Coming from a house where the two neighbors did not utter a word to me in two years, I was actually excited to get somewhere new where things were a little bit more friendly. The older I get the less chatty I seem to be, but it would have been nice to have a wave, simple small talk, or a nod of the head to show I existed, but that never happened. I guess it could have been the opposite and they showed up with cookies the first day and came over four or five times a week, but there has to be something in the middle.


I've lived in a lot of interesting places and houses but have never really been around cattle. My Grandma Smith came from a long line of very successful sheep herders and while I have some vague memories of being around them when I was young, it wasn't enough to leave a lasting impression of being around a lot of animals. My cousin's Grandpa on the other side of the family had a ranch with cattle and I made a few trips there, but once again I don't remember a lot. My biggest memories are everyone working really hard and I've always had a lot of respect for people who make their living that way.

On the night we moved into the house we worked really hard getting everything big moved in one trip and spent the next few hours unloading and putting things away. Around 9 p.m. I decided to go outside to relax for a few minutes and this is when I was first introduced to my new neighbors. I was expecting to see a few cows as I took a few seconds to decompress, but boy was I wrong.

A huge group had made their way right to my fence and were very busy eating and making quite a bit of noise. I was fascinated to watch the calves play and it was an enjoying experience. One cow got really close to the fence and I swear he nodded at me as if to say welcome home. He sure was a lot warmer then my last neighbors.

I wasn't quite as excited when I went to bed and the noise continued but remembered it could be a lot worse.

There were no gun shots, fireworks, couples screaming at each other, or music blaring. The sounds were all natural.

My two cats on the other hand have acted a little bit weirder to their new neighbors. When the noises start at night, they start to act up because they have never seen anything quite like a cow. They will stare out the window in awe and then run around the house not quite sure what to think.


One night a calf got into our yard and the cats did not know how to react. They were inside but could not understand what was going on. I'm just glad the calf went home so they settled down.

And if I'm asleep when the cows start making noise at night, the cats decide they want to start yowling and I swear it's like trying to sleep while a little toddler is playing with a Fisher Price Classic Farmer See and Say going on a loop.

While there have been some interesting moments, I'm starting to get used to my new neighbors and the sounds of nature. Sure beats non-stop fireworks or sirens.

JACK H. SMITH

 

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