Newbies on the block

There’s an old saying that, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Well when your neighbors are cattle, those words really ring true.

I didn’t pay much attention to the convoy of pickup trucks in the neighbor’s field, huddled in a circle like campers around a fire. The pasture once held horses but it’s been vacant for months. And given the fence’s wobbly state, I thought the neighbor was shoring up the posts for future horse use. But the newly-installed barbed wire, stretched taut in three strands, suggested otherwise.

By Saturday afternoon a whole passel of cattle were clustered in the corner. Twenty-two Black Angus and a single ginger-white Hereford. They hovered at the top end of the field but gamely approached as we gawked along the fence.

I told the kids that this herd of coal-black cattle might be next year’s burgers. But I don’t think the message registered.

A curious lot
Number 3 proved the boldest of the bunch.

Right now the herd’s a pretty cool landmark on our neighborhood stroll, but I’m not sure how smitten we’ll be in July — when the flies are beastly and the cow pies plentiful. We’ll all be coated in repellent.

Brynn was most taken by the new arrivals. I tried to explain the danger of barbed wire in terms understandable to a 20 month old. While doing so, I inadvertently punctured my thumb on a razor-sharp barb and a bubble of blood welled up. That, she understood.