We live in a largely rural county in South Carolina. We share a property line with an old dairy which “lives” on at least 50 acres. There are two ponds, maybe some ducks and several cows on the other side of an old-fashioned barbed-wire fence.

One afternoon I noticed the cows’ lowing seemed especially louder than usual. When my cell phone rang, my husband’s voice confirmed it. “Can you call the Martins? The cows are out.” So, I picked up the phone book (they DO still exist) and began calling a long list of Martins. I dialed a few and got no answer. I got one answering machine. I also got one sweet little old lady who told me in a very small, almost cartoon voice, “Honey, we used to have cows, but we haven’t had cows in a long time.” I thanked her and dialed a few more numbers. Finally, I took the phone book outside and told my husband, “Show me who to call  next.” He decided to take the  truck and go looking for the Martin we needed. A few minutes later, he comes back with a couple of numbers written neatly (clearly not his penmanship) on a sticky note. I asked, “Have you called them yet?” He said, “No.” My thought was, “Of course not.” The man hates talking on the phone.We never talked on the phone even when we were dating. So I called this Martin and a very nice woman said she would be right over.

I walked outside and circled around to the back patio. Upon hearing a loud CRACK, I turn and see several, black cows’ rear ends running away from my wisteria. They had already eaten some oak leaves so the wisteria must have looked like dessert. Two minutes later, the lady drives up and I had to tell her, “They went that way.”

She and my husband needed to walk the fence line to find the break. I walked the other way to make sure the cows didn’t get in the road on the subdivision “next door”. I flagged down the UPS driver to warn him about cows on the loose.  (life in the country) I still couldn’t see the half dozen or so that I KNEW had crossed over onto the neighbors’ lot. (new house coming soon) I walked back up the way I’d come and just as I reached a huge pile of pushed-up cedar trees, I heard them. I knew if they saw me they’d go back the wrong way. I hunkered down behind the dead trees and pulled out my cell phone. What did cowboys do without a cell phone? I called my husband and told him there were eight cows headed his way. I know there were eight because I counted them.

You should have seen me! Here I am, squatting behind a pile of dead trees and trying to whisper in my phone. After all, if the cows saw me, or heard me, it would take just that much longer to get these critters back on their side of the fence. It was a mixed group of older cows and some young ones. This one heifer was leading the way. They moseyed back down the way they needed to go and I thought the adventure was over.

Then my cell phone rang…

Watch for part II, coming soon.

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