Good News/Bad News

It was one of those days where you just have to take the bad with the good. Do you ever have those? One minute you think things are going smoothly then something goes wrong. You get it back on track then something derails you again. That’s pretty much how my day yesterday went.

We gathered steers the other day. As is usual, we were missing several. My father found one in a pasture that neighbored where they were supposed to be. The good news was my sister has been over helping us with our cow work and she agreed to come help me look through our cows in that pasture and see what we could dig up. The bad news was that with all the rain, some of the pasture was boggy and her horse fell over in the mud. Thankfully, she was okay and able to keep going even though she was more than a little muddy.


More good news: we found two missing steers in there instead of one. The bad news was one of them didn’t want to leave and we lost the other one while we chased him. We managed to get the one to the corral and took a lunch break. I went back out right after lunch and found the escapee. The good news was that I managed to convince him to go to the corral, but the bad news was that the water in the corral had quit working when I got him there and I couldn’t get it to go again. I hauled them a load of water to get them by for now.

While my sister was riding with me in the morning, I managed to see all of the bulls that were supposed to be in that pasture. Unfortunately, I also saw one that was supposed to be breeding cows by himself in another pasture. He had decided to climb through a couple fences, cross the river, and even skip the green hay fields to get to this other pasture. This left the pasture he was supposed to be in without a bull to breed the cows. More bad news: another of the bulls that we saw was injured and couldn’t breed cows anymore. The good news was I already had a bull that had volunteered to come take his place.


There’s more good news: we had another bull as a “spare” in case one got injured. The bad news was that this particular bull was a spare because we hadn’t been able to get him to the cows so the original spare had to step in. The first time we gathered him, he jumped some cow panels, crunching them and escaped. Then he had refused to come back at all. These bulls are big enough that if they don’t want to do something, it just isn’t going to happen. He hid in the trees along the river until he was ready to come out one morning when my brother and I were on our way to help our neighbor brand. We weren’t on time to the branding, but we managed to get him into a closer pasture. Since we left him, he decided to go through the fence and back into hiding. So you can probably understand that he isn’t our favorite bull right now. I do have good news though: today he felt like going the direction I wanted him to. He was a very well behaved bull and let me direct him right to the cows I wanted him to be with.


As I type this, I think that the good news of the day outweighs the bad. Sometimes that is all we can hope for isn’t it? Maybe it isn’t all perfect, but everything is alright for another day… maybe with a little plumbing and fixing fence to look forward to.

by Brandon Greet