Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Cows are Out!

Picture: Krishna the rascal

What a pleasant day. No one around, nice and quite. A good time to read and write. Then the phone call came and everything changed.

It was Balabhadra in Pittsburgh to say the cows were out. He had gotten a phone call from Madhava Gosh that they were in his yard, which is about a mile down the road form our farm.

Ray just came by and was still at the house so I knew I could employ him to help me herd them back to the farm. There was no one else on the farm at the time. Ray and I got in his truck and headed down the road to Gosh’s house. More than half way down the road, we came upon Krishna leading a small group of cows towards the farm. Ray said, “That’s a good sign.”

Then Ray remembered there was a gate at Bhakta Dave’s property that bordered the road and led into the pasture that was just behind Krishna and his band of renegades. As we opened that gate I gave the “wooo-ooo-ooo” sound, and I saw Krishna completely turn around and look at me like “What’s happening now!” I said to him, “Get up Krishna! We’re changing pastures.” Well he didn’t buy it but the others did and went right through the gate. Then another bunch came down the road and they saw their friends go through the gate and they followed. Now we were getting very lucky until Radhe Shyam went through Pusti’s property to try to get into the pasture where the other cows were going. Little did she know that there was no gate from Pusti’s property into the pasture, so she was stuck and scared and did not know where to go. Ray walked her back through Pusti’s and down the road to where the other cows went but she wouldn’t go through the gate.

I started herding Krishna, Dwadasi, Yamuna, and Radhe Shyam down the road and Gosh herded the cows in the pasture in the same direction. Ray rotated between the two groups. The idea was to move them to another pasture where there was more grass. By this time, my heart was pounding, and I am trying to do yoga breathing while I am running with the cows so I won’t collapse. I was thinking, “Wow! I am 60 years old and running around like a teenager after these cows. I better not get too confident.”

Well we managed to get them into the greener pasture. Then I realized we should do a count to make sure we got them all. Counting the cows can be difficult especially when they are all moving at the same time in different directions and it is getting dark. Ray and I came up with a count that two were missing. Then we looked over to the next hill and saw Big Shyam coming. By the time Big Shyam got in the pasture, it was dark.

As I looked around the top of the hill where the cows now were, I hoped that I would get a different count but there was still one missing. Then Janaka came home and said that there was a cow at the bottom of the hill standing by the gate. Sure enough, it was Radharani, the oldest in the herd (about 22-25 years old). She probably could not keep up with everyone as she is now moving quite slow.

Once she was in with the rest of the herd, it was time to rest. It took several hours for the adrenaline rush to dissipate and then I really felt 60 years old plus a few years.



PamelaPage said...

Isn't she beautiful. I cannot believe that cows live that long! Amazing! However, surely she is not still giving milk, so you must keep her for her beauty. A lovely thought.

Balabhadra das said...

Radharani is in great shape for 22 to 25 years old. Actually we keep all out cows and protect them until death.