Saturday, February 25, 2012

Midnight Cowgirl

Ahhhhh. Friday night.

Hubby is at work and you have nothing on the agenda after your run. All that's left is to take Teenaged Daughter into town to watch a movie with her friends and you are home free to read to your heart's content, an unfettered luxury. You savor your steaming shower, don your softest , fluffiest pajamas and set out your book and a mug for hot tea, then arrange the pillows on the sofa for optimum reading pleasure upon your return from town. You take a deep breath and love the way your hair smells after the deep conditioning treatment you've just given it.

Teenaged Daughter is ready to go and you slip on your old flip flops and you both hop into the car. As the garage door opens, you are taken a little aback at the coolness of the air, crisp as a ripe apple, but no worry because your journey will not even cause you to exit the car. You silently giggle inside as you enjoy the ride into town with Teenaged Daughter. It's been many months since the last Friday night date you had with a good book.

Clouds darker than the night sky cloak the stars and moon and you are even more thankful on your way home you will just have to jump out of the car and into the house. If this evening had come gift wrapped, it could not be better.

Without the natural nocturnal illumination, things are dark indeed, you think as you turn into your long driveway from the farm road leading to your house. You know every turn and bump in this road so are not paying special attention to your surroundings when you realize something is not right. Off to the left of the driveway there...something is moving; something large.

Your breath becomes snagged in your throat as you see not one large shape, but many, all moving on the west side of your front lawn. Your headlights pan over the group and it is a sizable portion of your cattle herd, escaped from the pasture, making merry in your newly planted beds of bluebonnets.

Your brain quickly computes. If the cattle make it down the driveway and into the road, it could be days before they are caught again and the oil trucks that routinely ignore the speed limits on the road could very well have disastrous encounters with them. Your parents, who are your closest neighbors, are away. The next closest neighbors live miles away, too far to help now.  Hubby's work is an hour away. You are the only hope for righting this situation.

You see the bull who is acting as the leader of this group. He is slinging his head and trotting, looking as though he was born for insurrection. You jump from the car and run through the dark in your weak plastic flip flops to cut off his path to the road. One shoe comes off your foot, but you plow on through unknown rocky ground.

He sees you and turns away from the road, racing past you with the whole group chasing him, galloping like a bunch of teens who have just rolled a house. You bare foot brushes against a cactus in the chase and the sting of the needles forces you to pause and grimace. The stragglers at the back of the herd are just running past you now and several of them stomp hard in a bog of loose mud that liberally showers you.

Miraculously, you step on your lost shoe in the dark and slip it back on. You have to get to the closest gate and open it before they get there. You take the shortcut through the back yard and although your aching foot is slowing you, it is not stopping you. You see something creeping in the grass about 15 yards in front of you but can't tell what it is and continue your mad dash.

Too late, you see the white stripe down its back. You are already far enough past it that you do not take a direct hit when the skunk unleashes its defense against the chaos, but the proximity of the stink causes you to gag. You do not break stride, though, and grab the gate just as you see the bull rounding the turn in the road.

You rip at the chain, losing three of the French tipped acrylic nails you got at the salon the day before. The gate swings open and you step back to allow them to run through, which they do, gradually slowing. Your heart is still beating a blistering tempo as the last one disappears into the blackness of the pasture.

You wipe your mudspattered face and limp back to the gate to secure it. Just as you reach it, your foot slides forward with crazy quickness and you are completely upended. Your head is cushioned by something soft when you hit the ground. It takes no more than a split second to realize you have landed in cow poop, which now coats your posterior and the back of your head, providing a contrast to the darker mud which has decorated your front. You don't even bother to pry the errant flip flop from the cow patty as you spot the break in the fence that allowed their escape and apply a temporary fix as best you can.

Limping back down the driveway to the house, you noticed the still night air has only amplified the skunk's pungency as you head to the water faucet to try and clean up. You have not even started when your cell phone rings, signaling Teenaged Daughter is ready to be picked up from the movies.


Ohhhh. Friday night.

44 comments:

  1. Oh, no!! Poor Shelly!! I'm so sorry that happened!!! So glad you didn't get hit by that skunk though!

    Now, tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor? Don't you think He does?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jamie: I'm living proof He does have a wonderful sense of humor! I'm learning to have a better one, myself!

      Delete
  2. I have to admit, I was a little jealous at first reading of your plans....thinking "someday....someday..." But as I read on...it quickly went away!! I hope you find another night to relax!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jamie: It is amazing how fast it went from sublime to horrifying. No one would want a night like that! Ha!

      Delete
  3. Oh Shelly! You did a brave and good thing but you sure paid for it! Not exactly the night you were hoping for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Belle: Not at all what I had been imagining, although the cows were safe.

      Delete
  4. Oh, Shelly! What an incredible tale! I notice that you seem to have quite a few close encounters with STINK don't you, my friend? (LOL) This story teaches a lesson in preparedness. Never assume that everything will always go according to plan. It is also a lesson in resourcefulness, proving that "if you must... you can." I am glad to know that the cattle made it back into the pen safe and sound and didn't become road kill. Your heroics saved the day, saved the cattle and possibly saved the lives of motorists. Good going!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Shady: I know I learned some lessons through all that, but I hope, next time I have to learn some lessons, they will come to me more in a classroom setting. And yes, what counted in the end was the cows and drivers were safe, so I was thnakful for that!

    ReplyDelete
  6. OMG Shelly as you typed the first portion I was sitting here feeling so good that my friend was having such a wonderful evening with pleasures abounding and then it all went south as the saying goes. I guess some people could have read it and thought of humor but all I could think of was Oh no, not Shelly. I thought of my high maintenance women in my life and how they think about their hair, skin, clothes and nails. All the sacred areas were affected. In the end I was proud of you for handling the challenge and comforted that you were not injured any more than you were. Hope you got plenty of TLC after that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Odie: You are so sweet, my friend! Thank you- and you're right- all the sacred areas were hit in my romp with the cows. It is a little humbling to go through that, to say the least. And yes, I'm going to have to get some TLC to make up for all that!

      Delete
  7. ♪♫ Green acres is the place for me.
    Farm livin' is the life for me.
    Land spreadin' out so far and wide...

    Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue! ♪♫

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cindy: HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That is too funny- and so appropriate!

      Delete
  8. "Home, Home On The Range, where the cows and the skunks play ...."

    ReplyDelete
  9. esbboston: Yep, and that would very well describe South Texas!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ok I have stopped laughing sorry but this story was funny.....lol I am glad the skunk didn't get you and I am glad the cow poo sofened your fall........ok I am still laughing please forgive me........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo-Anne: I am able to laugh now- at the time, though, well....

      Delete
  11. OMG Shelley -- from bliss to your head resting on cow poop amid skunk aroma! What a Friday night! I sure hope the next one will be better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dr. Kathy: It was The Agony and the Ecstacy in reverse. Ugh. I don't know how it could get much worse than that one!

      Delete
  12. Every word has to be true, because one can't make this stuff up. At any rate, the fact that you were able on Saturday to write this wonderful account of a not-so-wonderful Friday evening is testimony to your courage and good humor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. vanilla: It was truly a night to be remembered and hopefully never repeated!

      Delete
  13. OMG, Dearest Shelly!!!
    What an experience and a night, which must have been a perfect one.
    But, I am glad it didn't turn into the worst thing☆☆☆
    Yes, like your friend said you need a lot of TLC; I learned the word here(*^_^*)
    I hope you are having a relaxing weekend now, my friend.
    Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miyako: I had such high hopes that it would be an ideal night, my dear friend, but that never came to pass. But, you're right- it could have been a lot worse had they gotten into the road. And thank you, sweet friend- this day has been ultra relaxing!

      Delete
  14. Your story is so funny - glad everything worked out! sandie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandie: Yes, I am, too- could have been much worse!

      Delete
  15. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry after reading this. I've raised 4 teens and thought I had encountered most situations, but you've "bested" me. Thank heavens I have never had to do that. What a WOMAN!! Hope your dh fully appreciates how you waaay out do your contemporaries! I could not and would not be willingly that near to moving cattle. Never.Ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweet Tea: I've worked around cattle my whole life, so that part wasn't new, and I've been in messier situations in working as a vet techician in college, but after having my mind set on relaxing and being so clean, I wasn't prepared for that mess at all!

      Delete
  16. GAH!!! Shelly, I wish I had been there to help you! I've herded my share of horses out of the garden before. But holy cow! (No pun intended) Cactus? And mud? And skunk?! I'm sorry to say that I went ahead and laughed as I read this, but only because I'm sure you've finally laughed a little bit too. But I do wonder--your writing language is always so beautiful and classy and refined--how was your language that particular evening? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy: Ha! I think I was just reduced to unintelligible syllables. Nothing at all was pretty then. I still can't believe it turned out to be such a colossal mess! But yes, it has been good for some laughs now that I'm cleaned up and it's in hindsight!

      Delete
  17. Thank goodness the Cow Patty prevented a head injury!

    But I am so sorry that you had to endure such a disaster. What a night! I think I would have decided to let the cows live free and in the wild, somewhere between skunk, cacti and manure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny: If they escape again, and I'm the only one home, I think I will let them free!

      Delete
  18. Shelly:

    Another great post. Say, I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award over at Chubby Chatterbox.If you haven't won one of these already, you should have.

    CC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen: Thank you! Headed over there now~

      Delete
  19. oh man!! reading a good book, relaxing ,sounded a whole lot better!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. momto8: I hope next weekend is more promising. Sigh.

      Delete
  20. Hmm...I was worried that you would have car trouble and have to stand beside the road in your pajamas and flip-flops. By the end of your story, I see how that would not even have been considered a problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Val: The few times I do wear pajamas in the car, that has been a fear in the back of my mind. But you're right, after this last adventure, having car trouble would seem a lark.

      Delete
  21. Life was never meant to be boring.. Well, you had it all planned so well, maybe next time you'll make it, and hopefully without the skunk.. I pray so.xx

    ReplyDelete
  22. Crystal Mary: It was definitely excitement I had not planned! And yes, I hope over spring break perhaps I'll get another shot at it. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This has never happened to me.

    :-)

    But I love that it happened to you -- and that you wrote about it. :-)

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pearl: Who says rural life is boring? And when something that spectacularly messy happens, well, you just can't keep it quiet.

      Delete
  24. Seriously?!!!!???? This really happened to you?? All I can say is thank goodness for cow dung - you might have had a bad bump on the head otherwise! And really - after ALL THAT - your daughter calls to be picked up. So much for the perfect night, but it's par for the course, right? Just wasn't your night...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen: This is one of those where I wish I could say I made it all up, but unfortunately... and I didn't even tell all the dirty details. It was one gross night. I've never had so much cow manure on me in my life.

      At least the cows got put back up and all were safe~

      Delete
  25. Replies
    1. izdiher: :) I do wish it wasn't quite so fascinating that Friday night!

      Delete

I love to hear from you! I also love to comment back.