Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Wednesday March 10 2010
"Be back at 5 or 6," I tell the herd when I open the green gate to the canyon in the early afternoon. "Don't eat too much grass, and don't get hurt!" They all give me the eyeball as they walk past me through the gate, then either spread out immediately to graze, or start trotting up the canyon to the more choice spots.
Sometimes, I think I've got them trained nicely. Some days, they come down on their own at 5 or 6. Some days, at 5 or 6, I stand on a little rise and I holler, "Hey booooooooooooooooooys!" which, on a still day, bounces off the hills, echoing far up the canyon. I'll yell a few times, and here they come in the distance, trotting and cantering down the road, waiting till they pass through the green gate to blast down to the house. I always feed Mac and Jose grain, so they know what's waiting for them when they get back.
However, sometimes they don't come down at all. They let me stand there and holler myself hoarse for half an hour, (and I KNOW they can hear me) before I have to get the ATV out and drive up the canyon and find them and holler from closer. I SEE them watching me from across the creek, but some days they completely, absolutely, totally, ignore me. Some days they'll watch me, then head further UP the canyon. (The nerve!) Only when I give up near dark and drive back home do they suddenly come running down to the house, hot on my heels. Mac and Jose know they'll still get their grain, even if it is dark.
On the days the timing and communication work out perfectly, I enjoy watching them hurtle down to the house. On the days they make me wait and ignore me, well, they enjoy hurtling down to the house when they feel like it.
They've got me trained.