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Good Gates

What an evening! Last week, Joelle and I were heading a thousand different directions between soccer and ballet when, but for a rare moment, our schedules crossed paths. It was 6:30 p.m. and Joelle and I arrived home earlier than expected, so I said, “Let’s go for our walk.” We are able to make a walk a reality a few times a week. As the day was fleeting, we got going and Stephen, our newly accomplished bike rider, accompanied us. About a quarter of the way down the road, towards where we keep the cows, Stephen crashed, “Ouch!” We got him back up, dusted him off, and were off again winding our way towards the cow pasture. Just as we made our way around a turn we noticed that something was amiss.  

Initially, I thought out loud, “Hmmm…the neighbors have cows now?” As I gazed towards my side of the road, I realized that the neighbors had my cows now! I took a deep breath. We haven’t had to chase cows since 2005 and it is my least favorite sport. I got on the phone, called a few neighbors, and tried to get another neighbor to stop playing cowboy on his quad! 
The cows had lifted a gate off its hinges. The gate was still padlocked to the post, much to the relief of my third son who was the last to use that gate. When we built that fence over a year ago we didn’t turn the hinge posts opposite directions. So, when one of the cows was using the gate as a scratching post it lifted it up and off they went—not a single cow stayed home, imagine that.
We got the cows moving forward again, strung a hot wire across the road, barricaded the road with a tractor and truck, and began moving the cows towards the gate. Ahhh, easy as pie. But then they up and bolted through the vestiges of our neighbor’s fence and were gone again. But they were also getting tired. While the teenagers chased cows, I had Nathan, one of my farm hands, reposition the tractor and truck since the cows were now going to be coming down a different direction. When they got to the end of our neighbor’s field and were resting, we repositioned our non-hot hotwire and started moving the cows towards the road. Thankfully, my neighbor had left all of his fence posts in the ground even though there isn’t a single wire attached to them—all that mattered was that the cows thought a fence was there.  
Joelle parked her car at the other end of our road and we started moving the cows slowly towards the “hole” in the fence. They didn’t want to go, but one reluctantly stepped through and began to turn the wrong way. “If that cow bolts, we are done! They will be heading to Warm Beach!” I started praying, “NO LORD!” And then, all of a sudden, my petite wife began jumping up and down and waving her turquoise blue coat like she was a matador. Then that cow, not even thinking twice, headed the right direction. I started thanking the Lord because I am sure that cow saw the hosts of Heaven hanging like a halo above her head!
A few minutes later, the cows were back at home, the gate was fixed properly, and a good night’s sleep was had by all. 
PS. Meet these adventurous cows in the video below.