One of the things I enjoy the most about my boys is how easily entertained they are. We don’t need any fancy toys because chances are they will rather play with the box the toys came in. “I’m bored” is not a phrase they use often because if you give them a few rocks, a stick, and their imaginations, the next thing you know, they will be fighting dragons to rescue a princess, in a war with some bad guys, or catapulting rocks at a target (or more likely each other!). The phrase “What one doesn’t think up the other will” rings true at our house, and you never know what is going to happen next. Every day is a new adventure.
If you have spent much time around us, you’ve probably heard me say “they may look like me, but they act just like their dad” a time or two, because looking at my boys is like looking in a mirror for me. That is where the similarities end though. They are brave, outgoing, adventurous, and thoughtful, just like their dad.
Or so I thought….. Sunday, I got undeniable proof that they may possibly, maybe some days, kind of act like their mom, but just a little bit!
We went to Mountain City to visit and brand a few calves. TR and QT scattered, taking their cousin PJ with them just as soon as the car came to a stop. They were out of sight, but in ear shot. Before too long they were entertaining themselves and us. They had found a hill and a red Radio Flyer wagon. Two would climb into the wagon and then rock it till it would start rolling down the hill. TR took charge as pilot and would steer with the wagon handle. Can you see where this is going? I almost told them that riding the wagon down the hill wasn’t a good idea… Almost.
It reminded me of a summer a few years back and a couple days spent in Charleston with my sister and Cousins Becky and Kyla. Our new brother had just arrived and we were letting things settle at home. Being ranch kids, ages 4-8 we didn’t watch much TV. We had 100’s of acres to explore, a lot of mischief to find, and not as much supervision as we probably should have had.
Our adventures led us to the barn and the milk cow’s calves one afternoon. We decided our time and energy would best be served by teaching the calves to pull a wagon. The girls and I got busy gathering supplies, which included a couple old lass ropes, a can of grain, and you guessed it, a red Radio Flyer wagon. What we lacked in experience training calves to pull carts, we more than made up in enthusiasm. This was going to be epic!
In our infinite calf training wisdom we determined that the biggest calf would most likely be the best at pulling a wagon. We got to work chumming him into the round pen with the bucket of grain. “Toro” would be the best for pulling a wagon full of girls around the pen. Once he got pulling the cart mastered, we would drive him up to the house to prove to Auntie how handy we were. Catching Toro was the easy part. Leppies will do anything for grain we learned. Getting him to stand in place long enough to be tied to the wagon, and actually tying him to the wagon was the challenge. We had to make a second trip for more grain, but we got it done.
All 4 of us girls climbed into the wagon, got set, and Becky being the oldest assumed driving duties. She clucked to Toro just like we’d seen our dad’s do to the work horses in the winter. Nothing happened. Finally after clucking some more and whacking Toro with the end of the line, all hell broke loose.
Toro lunged ahead and the clatter of the wagon and shrieking of girls must have spooked him pretty good. He was off like a rocket and Becky and I baled. Cara and Kyla made it about 2 feet before the wagon rolled and spilled them as well. Poor Toro made about half a lap around the pen before he finally came clear of the wagon, but had to drag his ropes until chore time came and some adult came to turn him loose.
We had some tears, bumps, bruises, and a few scrapes to bandage, but we survived! We also learned a valuable lesson. Milk calves are not good at pulling wagons. They are pretty much unteachable!
It’s a good thing Aunt Cara doesn’t have a pen of milk calves at her house, and Becky and Kyla’s boys are so far away. It’s genetic for these wild little ranch kids (on their mother’s sides of course!) to get into mischief with red Radio Flyer wagons. This time, as long as TR did the driving, things went pretty well. He kept the wagon balance, upright, and was able to turn the wagon before running into the big mud puddle or hitting the loading chute. Letting QT drive was what got them into trouble. He turned too sharp, too soon, spilling himself and PJ. There were some tears, bumps, bruises, and scrapes to bandage, but to quote TR “We survived!” The jury is still out on what lesson was learned, other than not to let QT drive!