Porter House Special

Porter House as a Yearling

May 2015 

I went to the Waynesburg stocksale thinking I had no chance of getting a calf. They were holding the calves until 2pm and I had to leave for work; no later than this. When I arrived the horses were going through. Walking the aisle behind the wooden seats I bumped into a neighbor. To our surprise the calves ran through early and I purchased two at half the price I would have paid last week. I guess it is why it is called a stock sale; the prices are never the same. Anyways, one was a black angus and the other a black  angus herford. Off to work I went, almost regretting the purchase because now I had two bottle babies to feed.

After work, I went to the house to slide a couple of dog boxes on to the bed of the truck and tell the hubby we were the proud parents of two calves. He was so happy. Only the day before he had put his back out and the doc said no wood chopping. He-he, Doc said nothing about calf wrangling.

At the sale I was blocked in for half an hour by a big truck. Inside the building I fnally found the guy and he moved. It was a treat dragging the calves into the bed of the truck. I put them in the same box to keep each other company.

Once home, I parked the truck near the new barn and readied the pen. The hubby stared, puzzled, at an empty dog box. He quizzed, ” You lost a calf? There’s nothing in the box.”  He was pointing right at the box with two faces staring at him. Okay. Must have been the beer. Pointing I said, “Well, I got a good price on that one. It came with two heads.”

Grumbling something about me being smart the hubby yanked the black angus out- Cocoa. Her little feet did burn outs on the truck bed. She was fiesty so I helped. Mentioning the tailgate was down  we handled the squirming critter. Hubby assured me the other one would stay. Slamming the pen door on the unhappy Cocoa we heard the clatter of little hooves on the truck bed. I almost made it to the truck when Porter House hit the ground running. The three day old calf crashed into the goat gate,

then took a left and a right into the alpacca pen. I think the calf thought she was staring at E.T. because she took off like her tail was lit on fire. Right through the goat pen, scattering the goats.

Up the hill goes the hubby. I ran for the Kawasaki side-by-side. By the time I was to the new gates the little steak on four legs was past me and up to the neighbor’s fence line. The calf turned left; straight up the hill doing moch 90.  The hubby jumped in the Kawasaki. By the time we reached the top of the hill the minature hamburger pattie pushed through the old fence in the corner. We pursued on foot, ripping ourselves on barb-wire. Up higher, into the neighbor’s hillside we went.

The calf followed the fenceline. Over the top of the mountain and behind the new neighbor’s we finally cornered her in a briar patch. Brandishing bleeding thorn holes across my arms and legs I found myself hanging onto a fresh leg of potential veal, only I was stuck in the thorns.

The hubby leaped. One badly sprained thumb later and our fastfood was contained. Bawling in protest the hubby cussed my new purchase. I am not sure which was more winded, as the pair lay sprawled, panting. My asthma had me bent over wishing for air. After  a moment I trudged back up the hill to the kawasaki. On the way down the hydralic brake line let loose and the trip took a sudden “yeehaa” to the bottom. Somehow I made it to the house with next to no brakes. Driving the truck to the neighbors I made a hasty explanation as to why I needed permission to cross their land.

Being quite neighborly the lady offered to drive me  in her side-by-side with two excited children in tow. Up the hill we went with dog box bouncing in the dumpbed. Through the barbwire we drug the box to where the Hubby lay grumbling. Porter house was now hog tied with barn twine.

Pushing and heaving; the hogtied calf was boxed. It was then we saw a huge abscess draining on her backside. For a moment we all felt sorry for the poor little thing, then I felt mad. Someone had duped me into buying a sick animal of which they did not want the expense of caring for. Everyone helped drag and pull the box through the weeds and to the mule. The neighbor was kind enough to bring myself and the calf to the house after I explained my fun ride down the hill in my own side-by-side. 

The hubby brought the truck. As he steppped out I realized he was in his house slippers. Such a city slicker. Bet that is the last time he brings slippers to a calf fight.

Never underestimate the speed and endurance of an animal three days old!

Author: cynthia queen

Living on a small farm just three miles short of the West Virginia border I am kept extremely busy with writing, working part time, remodeling our rental mobile homes and running the farm. I lived most of my life on the New York border in the Tyoga County backwoods. Our family has known nothing but hardship and scraping by. I bought this farm with the intent of bringing my family to a better place. In 2015 my daughter joined the farming fun. In 2016 Mom and my two brothers made it to the farm. I am hoping my writing will begin to supplement the income and make homesteading a reality for all of us. Now, to get my other daughter to come home and we'll have the whole family here.