Sunday, August 18, 2013
The Other Side
These pretty deer were ambling across the road as I headed to town on Friday -- they were in no hurry and I was able to get these pictures through the windshield. But that's not what I'm here to tell you about. The nice pictures are to beguile you while I talk about the other side of our usually rather idyllic life on the farm.
Early Friday morning John had gone down to feed the chickens and I was getting ready for an appointment in Asheville. From down at the lower place I heard gunshots. Now this isn't as alarming as you might think -- it could be a varmint of some sort was in the chicken house, a neighbor doing target practice . . . but I called John on his cell to find out what was up.
He was breathing heavy when he answered and then I got the full story. The Jersey bull that we purchased back in December had tried to kill him.
Now dairy bulls are notoriously bad tempered and we had known this. In fact, Tammy of Fairlight Farms had also warned us. But this bull had been reasonably amiable and we wanted to use him to breed Silverbell and Marigold and Clover in hopes of another Jersey heifer. And then we would take him to market..
As of now, Marigold and Clover are bred and recently the bull had been getting more and more difficult to deal with -- breaking through fences and being a general nuisance. On Friday morning when John was feeding and watering the chickens, the bull was hanging about and generally acting menacing. John wanted to move him and the Jersey Girls to another pasture so he went to get a bucket of feed to toll them through the gate. And since the bull was acting weird, he also got his pistol. Sometimes a shot in the air works to warn off critter,
John was leading the cows toward the gate when the bull charged. Pushing through the cows, ignoring the bucket of feed, he hit John squarely in the chest, knocking him through a board fence. John says he was lying there on his back, looking through the broken boards at the bull who looked as if he was ready to come through the remaining board and finish what he'd started.
So, still on his back, John reached for his pistol. Those were the shots that I heard..
This was such a narrow escape. If the bull had knocked him down out in the open pasture, things could have been quite different. As it was, John escaped with nothing more than some spectacular bruising and the job of getting the 1200 pound corpse on a trailer to take to the landfill.