‘Til the Cows come Home


The year was 1985, so you can imagine the effort I put in to have BIG hair at that time  (for those who need a visual to start a good story).  Rick and I were at college in B.C. together when he took me to his family’s home in Alberta to meet the parents…. and the six siblings, dog, horse and chickens.  Please keep in mind that I was from Sunnyvale, California… the heart of the Silicon Valley. There were more people per square mile in Sunnyvale than there were ticks on a dog in Wildwood, Alberta. 

Rick’s dad was the pastor of the church in town providing more pressure on moi since the PK (preacher’s kid) was taking me to church for the first time.  Sunday morning shone bright and clear… for which I was thankful in my high heels… on the dirt roads that were presently dry and firm instead of mushy and muddy.  Rick and I drove away from the house but as we were approaching a neighbor’s farm, Rick announced, “The Hermann’s cows are out. We better stop and put them back in.”  His “we” was the loosest sense of that word, since there were two of us in the vehicle and one was NOT helping put cows back in wearing her Sunday best and high heels.  

It’s beyond me how Rick sweet talked me into helping him, but he did.  He succeeded in persuading me to stand in the middle of the dirt road just passed the entrance to the cow’s farmyard….. with my arms spread wide, so the cows wouldn’t try to go beyond the impressive physical barrier I was to provide.  They were to run toward me, the California girl dressed to the nines, and then turn into the yard before I was trampled.  I still can’t believe I fell for that.  The only dirt road I had ever been on was at my Grandparent’s hometown in Eastern Oregon… and it lead to the dump.  I was NOT in familiar territory, to say the absolute least.

The car was parked and I was left by the wide open gate while Rick ran back down the road to chase the cows toward his new girlfriend…. me.  I need to add here that I was wearing an adorable little dress with a white tulip-shaped skirt and the red bodice with white polka-dots.  It was darling…. all white and sparkling clean. The thought did enter my mind of my red dress and the whole bull-matador-red-cape deal.  I asked Rick last night why in the world he did this to me and in his defense he replied, “Well, I knew you wouldn’t chase the cows!” 

These were not ordinary jersey cows.. these were their Amazon cousins the Limousin cows…. each of them had about 800 pounds on me.  Please see the original untouched photo above.  So the cow chasing began….. imagine me trembling from head to toe holding wobbly arms out in a half bent fashion, ready to hit the dirt in the fetal position at any second.  Rick was highly successful at chasing cows and they were indeed stampeding toward me… I knew because I had one eye half open, watching the dreaded approach.  To my shock, the plan worked like a charm.  The cows came, turned on a dime right in front of me, trotted into their pasture, did an about-face and looked at me, wondering, “Where did that wimpy city-slicker come from?”

When we arrived at the church all sparkling clean with no sign of cow on us, my body was still trembling and I must have looked the most feeble, frightened little girl Rick ever brought to church.

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12 Responses to “‘Til the Cows come Home”

  1. morethananelectrician Says:

    Well…you weren’t going to chase them, were you?

  2. Jennie C. Says:

    I am most definitely NOT a city girl, but I am scared of cows (and every other animal that’s bigger than me or has sharper teeth) and there is NO way I would have done what you did. You must have been EXTREMELY smitten.

  3. rixgal Says:

    Nope, not chasin’ ’em.

    Smitten, or stupid…. or both.

  4. Regalos de México Says:

    Great story! Do you find that you miss Sunnyvale, or are you glad to be away from California?

  5. RIP Says:

    Ok! Where did you get that picture? This looks a lot like Winky – the cow I led around the arena in my first and only year of 4H. He was a lot smaller when I first led him around, but by the end of the year I won a trophy for “Best Weight Gained” (Still have it, if you want to see it sometime). He was close to a 1000 lbs by the end of the year, and then they led him off to the…where all beef cows go. Oh, those happy memories of Wildwood.

    Boy, I should have hitched a ride with my brother that Sunday! How did I miss that one! Then again, I was only sixteen!

  6. rixgal Says:

    RdM – I do miss California, mostly the mild weather. We have gone full circle and are now in Phoenix. Makes me miss California.

    Terry, I’m totally laughing that you named your cow Winky. Wasn’t that the name for Every dog your family ever had?????

  7. RIP Says:

    Yes, every dog we had – it was more like “Winky” “Winky II” “Winky III” – to distinguish individuality, I added numbers – that’s how I referred to them anyway.

  8. Jill Says:

    Oh, you make your friend proud Linda! Although………. I’m kinda thinkin’ that Maverick had this all set up with Mr. Hermann — just to see what his new little filly was made of. You obviously passed the test! Good girl. Thank you for painting such a vivid picture. I can envision every detail. Did you get anything out of Sunday service that morning? ha ha

    Terry –
    Finally! I meet a fellow 4-H’er that showed cows! :) I was going to give you a bad time about the uncreativeness of naming your animals….. when I remembered that my cows were “Princess Goldie” and “Golden Princess” .

  9. Mr Hermann Jr. Says:

    That is a great story Linda. I’m impressed that you did that. I didn’t actually know that story, but I guess I owe you a belated thank you for your part in protecting the herd! Lol

  10. Jill Says:

    Oh that’s great…. is that really Mr. Hermann? Oh, so funny…

  11. rixgal Says:

    Jill, Rick actually showed a cow in 4-H too, but he named his after a name he heard in a Cheech and Chong movie. He wasn’t aware that it was a swear word in Spanish until I let him know. He didn’t believe me, so he asked Claudio what it meant. Claudio said, “Reek, don say dat.”

  12. Jill Says:

    LOL !! It just gets better and better…

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