Burr was a crispy old farmer who looked a lot like the cigarettes he smoked. He was short and cylindrical in shape like a cigar and was the color of ash. Even his posture, resembled a crushed cigarette. Burr ran the cattle ranch across the river from us for a time. He was one of the few remaining farmers who believed in the fence out policy. The border of his farm was marked by flattened fence and strewn wire. Any of his fence that still stood was tilted, and had loose rotten posts. So to put it in simple terms, Burr USED to have a fence.
It was our farm’s off season. We were letting our land rest and allowed every gate to remain open. My father, my mother, and I sat in the living room where we stretched out and relaxed. Something moved outside the window, and my mother sat straight up and cried, “Cows!”
Outside we saw four black Angus behemoths and a couple of calves. As soon as they caught wind of us, they all bolted. We each ran to a corner of the property to shut a gate. I can’t speak for the obstacles my parents over came as they rushed to lock down the farm, but as for me, I headed in the same direction the cows did and overtook them by jumping a fence. I closed the gate from the outside and ran the perimeter to the next two gates. In the end, we corralled the lot of them and my dad called the sheriff’s department to announce that we had found somebody’s missing cattle. They took our number, and directed Burr to call us.
Soon enough, Burr called us up and the next thing we knew, the ol’ smokestack and his boy were at our front gate. We rounded up his cows and began pushing them towards his trailer. Now as I said before, Burr didn’t have a strong fence. Therefore, his cows were not used to strong fences. They fully expected our fence to tilt over with the slightest push. So, refusing to enter the trailer like good little cows should, they plowed full force into our fence. Now we, as industrious farmers, take pride in a strong fence, so you can imagine the surprise Burr’s cattle had when the wire not only held, but bounced back and continued to confine them. In the end, with many a trial, we herded the cattle into the trailer.
Burr had his cows and thanked us heartily for our assistance. He hauled them over the bridge and back onto his property across the river. Then, he did one of the silliest things I’ve ever seen anyone do. He set his cows back out on his ranch. Because Burr had no fence, he essentially released them back into the wild.
Two days later, we received another call from Burr, about his missing cows, and found them down by the river again on our side.