One of the worst ways to end the work week is with a call from the sheriff. I mean, that basically applies at all times. Generally, you'd rather not receive a call from a law enforcement official. We're all unanimous in this feeling, right?
Around 4pm on Friday, just as I was about to break into a happy hour cocktail by myself at the house (I work from home sometimes and call it quits a little early every now and then. Sue me.), I received a call from a neighbor who immediately handed the phone to the sheriff who was apparently standing in his living room.
Him: "Ma'am, this is the sheriff."
Him: "Do you have cows?"
Jenna: "Maybe. Why do you ask?"
Him: "Do you or don't you?"
Jenna: Sigh. "yes" (almost inaudible.)
Him: "Are they very short and very fat?"
Jenna: "Maybe. Why do you ask?" Whatever they had done, I didn't want to get pegged with it.
Him: "Well, the neighbors said there's no question that the cows in the road are yours. You better come and get them. Thanks ma'am."
Dial tone.......With shaking hands, I dialed Jer's number at work and squeaked out the fact that wehadthestupidestcowsinthewholedamnworldandthattheywereruiningourlivesandicouldn'tdeal-
Pretty sure he didn't understand a word I said. But he recognized the tone of my voice and the words "stupidest" and "cows" and quickly headed over.
What ensued was the same old story we've shared now several times. A bucket was filled with feed. Seamus, the good cow, was inconsolable and shrieking on our side of the fence (he seems to rarely bust out), and the others were MIA. By the time we arrived, the sheriff had shooed Rooney and Matilda into a neighbor's pasture, as they were previously standing stupidly in the road. We found them there, munching weeds happily, Seamus's pained cries floating out from the woods behind them. The only way back to our property was out the gate, along the somewhat busy road, and down our long driveway. Lots of things could go wrong but it's not like we had, you know, options at that point. So out the gate we went.
Jer served as traffic cop, carrying a large stick (?) and holding his hand up in the air at approaching vehicles. Each person who passed us slowed down enough for a good long stare at the amateur ranchers taking their cows on a walk. We got lots of waves and smiles. I have a feeling this wasn't the first roadside cow retrieval these country dwellers had seen.
Once safely back behind our (apparently piss-poor) fence, we searched the property for holes and escape routes but came up with nothing. Needless to say, we've spent the majority of this weekend feeling nervous, confused, and afraid to answer the phone. For now, the fence has held them. I have another happy hour scheduled tomorrow afternoon (the real kind. with other people.) so I fully expect to receive another call from the sheriff around that time, right on cue.