Machine love

When I was a child, every Christmas I would ask Santa for “100 kittens”, which my parents mercifully never considered. I certainly never guessed that instead of 100 felines I would someday acquire two1800 pound bovine equivalents. Complete with horns.

“The Boys” (Rocky and Bullwinkle), both 2 1/2 year old Holstein steers with no lack of gourmet hay in their diet (these guys are HUGE), truly remind me of oversized cats. They like to lick people with their rough tongues, ask for scratches around their ears, and when happy or excited, they romp around, jumping up and back, kicking sideways, throwing their heads from side to side, and making the ground thunder. Think: Rodeo. Think: RUN.

This is why “The Boys” have their very own pasture with their very own fortified gate.

Oh, I do go in to hang out with them. We watch the stars together. In fact, when they are lying down and relaxed, they make a very nice and warm back support for a person who doesn’t mind sitting on the ground; and at night you’re much less likely to get gored by a massive head suddenly swinging around to swat at a fly. It’s very pleasant. Really.

But there are times when these boys strike terror into my heart (and that of anyone else present). Witness the time Diana (part time staffer) refused to come down from the roof of the truck. Any time a motor is revved up and a vehicle starts to move in their proximity, the boys start that one-ton-kitten-jumping and slam dancing routine. And occasionally they like to pause to see if there are any parts that taste good (shades of Newman).

In fact, I’m missing part of a rear view mirror; and one visiting contractor who had an especially large truck had some electrical wiring chewed off by Bullwinkle. My conclusion? These steers have a serious machine fetish.

They love them. They are pretty fond of cars, they love SUVs, they are extremely keen on trucks, and the tractor, well now, the tractor causes them to stop short and recite love poetry. I know what they mean.

An unbelievably kind soul (who has said they prefer to remain anonymous despite my offer to post their name in neon lights) has loaned the farm a tractor for a while. And oh, it’s a beauty. A big strapping orange Kubota.

I think it’s quite possible that I’m in love with this machine. Used to be I’d have to lug muck in small bits all over the farm with a wheelbarrow, but now I can farm 21st century-style! I can moves my hay feeders and load half  ton round bales without blinking. I can tend the compost pile, facilitating decomposition at 5 times the rate just letting it sit would do.

This machine turns on a dime, has the power of 120 Arnold Schwarzeneggers, and makes this amazing, wonderful, gorgeous, loud engine sound. To be perfectly candid, this tractor makes me wish I had 100 acres just so I could drive him around them. I know we are fated to part, that our relationship is destined to be short lived; I know Mr. Kubota belongs to another, but I can’t help my feelings.

If I were a cow, I guess I’d jump sideways and shake my head, too, every time I witnessed the magical power of Modern Farm Equipment. Sigh.

Till next time,

Farmer Anne

Star Gazing Farm 501(c)3

A haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats