I Like That

I Like That
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Chicken Coop Incident

I LIKE THAT my son and I played together, laughed out loud, and hugged each another long enough to absorb each other’s energy. I discovered unconditional love the moment I knew I was pregnant.
My sweet boy was born in Edmonton, Alberta and after our release from the hospital we returned to our forty-acre hobby farm in Millet, a small farming community approximately fifty-five kilometers south of the capital city. My husband, at the time, worked in the nearby city of Wetaskiwin while my son and I worked the farm. Our daily rituals included collecting the eggs from the chicken coop, feeding the chickens and the four charolais bulls, each weighing around 500 kilograms, cleaning the barn, picking weeds from the garden in the summer, and shoveling a path from our home to the barn and coop, and to the main road in the winter. Regardless of the weather, if my boy and I had to go outside it meant packing him into a baby carrier. Loaded up, I performed our duties without incident until one day when one of the bulls decided he wanted to join us in the chicken coop. I heard him snort and I turned around to face his huge skull flanked by two large eyes scanning my son and I from top to bottom.
“Get out!” I shouted.
He didn’t move and I knew it would take some shoving on my part to move him back. It’s not common for a steer to walk backward. I was stuck with what to do until I increased the grip on my flat shovel. I lifted it up and brought it down hard on his forehead. He turned his head and led the rest of his body away from us. He was angry and pawed the ground with his front hoof. That signal was enough of a warning for me to slam the chicken coop door behind us and run for it. We scrambled over the locked fence and ran to the house. My son and I celebrated our safety with a warm bottle of milk for him and a cool drink of lemonade for me.

Get back Mr. Charolais!