Dec 21 2008

All Thumbs

Buculae sunt bestiae versutae. — Cows are wily beasts.

Yesterday as we were leaving the farm, we found a cow out on the road.  A heifer Jersey calf, really, about a year old, that goes by the name of China.  (About twice the height of the babies in the picture.)  I got out in the howling cold wind in my lightweight going-to-visit jacket and single layer of jeans, and started driving her toward the driveway.  She did not want to go.  But I’ll match my stubbornness against an animal’s any day.  We zigzagged back and forth, off the road into the ditch on one side, then off into a field on the other side, until I had her about three-quarters of the way there.

Young Jersey Calves

Young Jersey Calves

Then she made her move.  She took a few steps toward the ditch on the left, then when my guard was down, she bolted to my right.  I sprinted that way in a desperate attempt to cut her off, and got about three steps before I went face-down on the ice.  While I checked myself for broken parts and brushed the mud off my clothes (yes, I found mud somehow, on a ten-degree day), she wandered back the way we came.

Then I wised up and had Angel get out and help me, and we drove her the direction she wanted to go in the first place, toward the gate at the uphill end of the field.  (Animals always seem to prefer being driven uphill; I don’t know why.)  Maybe she used up all her moves shedding me the first time, because she went right along without any trouble this time.

Once all the excitement was over and we were walking back to the truck, I realized my right thumb was hurting.  I took off my glove and saw it was bleeding a little, but it was also jammed pretty good.  It ached and started swelling the rest of the night while we were out visiting, but I was more annoyed with the mud I couldn’t get off my shirt.

Today, it doesn’t just ache a little; it hurts to touch anything with it.  There’s no bruise (I never bruise, at least not close enough to the surface to see it), but it’s swollen and I can’t bend it.  I guess I’m lucky it’s the one digit you don’t use to type, or I’d be having a hard time at the keyboard.  Thumbs are one of those things you take for granted; it’s hard to turn a doorknob or pull a plate out of the cupboard with just your fingers.  I’ll pack some ice on it tonight, and hope it relaxes some by tomorrow.  It doesn’t keep me from typing, but the ache is distracting; I keep wanting to mess with it and loosen it up somehow.

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One Comment

  • Jason says:

    I remember trying to drive hogs down the hill where our grandparents lived. Hogs pretty much will NOT walk down a hill. They’ll insist on walking side to side to keep the slope very gradual. I think it’s something about not wanting to have their head below their back feet.

    Another interesting pig fact: pigs cannot turn their head sideways. Up and down, back and forth, but no twisting motion. It’s claimed that because a pig cannot bite you if you keep your limbs vertical. They will, however, try to gore you with their tusks (if they have them) or get you down on the ground where they can have a better chance at getting a nice bite. Not that this happens much, as pigs are fairly docile unless you make them mad. :)

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