Two days ago, our newest heifer got tangled up with a broken fence. I keep a rope tied loosely on the creature’s neck so that she can be separated from Coco for milking. The calf managed to get this rope tangled around some #8 wire fencing and a metal standard.
We were on our way out to the coast, so I wasn’t wearing my work pants (with the knife in the back pocket) or boots. I saw that she was stuck and just strolled up there thinking that I’d be able untie the knot to free her quickly.
Well, the knot was a serious mess. I looked at this situation and thought, “Just don’t get between that rope and the standard. Be careful.”
What do you think happened…
As I was undoing the knot, she took off like a shot and the rope snapped tight against my legs, I flew into the air and landed in some position that had both of my legs lashed to the standard, along with a ball of fencing. It was a tangle of legs, #8 wire, rope and blood (my blood). I was yelling uncontrollably because of the pain. This was upsetting the animal even more. She went around me a couple more times, pulling the tangle of fence, legs and rope tighter.
In case you’re wondering, this was a very serious, “OH SHIT!” moment. I couldn’t move, and the crazed animal would eventually wind herself up to the point where she’d be on top of me. She has tried to kick me with both front (yes, front) and hind sets of hooves. No, she REALLY doesn’t like being tethered.
My next thought was:
If she kicks you in the head, you could buy the farm right here, partially tangled in the fence, partially lying in the mud, blood and shit.
Trying to focus through the excruciating pain, I decided to cut her loose. I reached for the knife in my back pocket… That wasn’t in my back pocket because I wasn’t wearing my work pants!
I don’t really know why, but she got tired of pulling on the rope. Maybe she realized that she was actually getting closer to me, by going around and around, which she obviously didn’t like. I managed to get some slack on the rope, which allowed me to crawl away.
I’ve done some stupid things on this property, but this one takes the cake. What makes it even worse is that I saw the potential for trouble and reminded myself to be extra careful. Anyway, the good news is that this incident didn’t involve a trip to the emergency room or worse. The bad news is that, in addition to minor cuts, scrapes and bruises on both hands and my right leg, this is what the back of my left leg looks like right now:
This hurts a lot
To say that I’m walking funny is a bit of understatement. I don’t know if any serious damage has been done to my knee. The whole area is turning black and blue, and I’m having a hard time straightening it out. There’s some swelling, but it’s much less than I thought would be present. I don’t know if that’s a good sign or a bad sign.
I went to the chemist and he suggested a product called NurofenPlus, which is Ibuprofen and codeine. This has cut the throbbing pain way down. He said that if the pain continues to get worse, or if swelling increases, I’d need to go to the hospital.
Anyway, the moral of the story is: Please be careful.
I could have just kept this one quiet. I mean, who really wants to admit doing something stupid? The reason I wrote this post is because you don’t want to be the guy (or girl) who’s tangled up in a fence, screaming at the top of your lungs where nobody can hear you, with life and limb subject the whims of a very strong and stroppy animal. Maybe before doing something silly, you’ll think, “I don’t want to wind up like that jackass on Farmlet.” Maybe you’ll take greater care around your own property as a result of this. I know that I will.