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  • Writer's picturejstanion1890

2:18 AM

At the first tones of my phone, I reached out, groggy. I'd been sleeping so good just before it sounded and had no idea of time. Other than "after bedtime" and "before my alarm"...I was struggling to reach it before the sound got any louder. No other coherent thoughts...just "please stop ringing!"

"Hello." Could the caller on the other end tell they had awakened me?

"Ma'am, this is the county sheriff's office."

Suddenly I was wide awake, my heart in my throat, blinking my eyes clear to look at the time.

"Yes, ma'am. Is there something wrong?"

"Ma'am, do you live at the intersection of Coyote Lane and Pine Grove?"

No further details.

"Yes, ma'am."

"Do you have black cows?"

I realized I'd stopped breathing.

"Yes, ma'am," I sucked in a breath and sat up.

"You'll find a Dodge Durango at the end of your driveway. Can you get down there?"

"Yes, ma'am!" as I cut off the call and shook my husband awake before reaching for my shoes and jacket.

We backed out of the garage almost simultaneously. Sure enough, there were head lights down the road and we could see legs moving in the illuminated path of the high beams. I backed into the oncoming lane and hit the flasher button on the dash.

Sometimes patience is the best choice. The cattle don't mean to cause trouble....they're as confused as we are. Blue lights appeared in my rear view mirror and the officer eased his way around my vehicle to help block oncoming traffic.

"I haven't had too much luck chasing cows," he commented through his open widow.

As I stepped forward to direct the incoming animals up our driveway towards an open gate to the pasture, the only response I could manage was, "It's best not to chase 'em if possible."

Something had frightened those forty-five bull calves and driven them through five sharp strands of barbed wire on a stormy night.

"That fence is a disaster," my husband announced as he passed us to check out the remainder of the fences along the road. I waited, low beam headlights focused on the gate we hoped any stragglers would wander into.

The deputy revealed he'd seen two more in the shop yard before scooting away to serve elsewhere in the county. I hope it's not a dangerous call. Suddenly, sitting there alone in the darkness just before dawn, the flood of tears began.

COWS!! My grip on the steering wheel loosened as relief washed over me. How thankful I was that the call had been about cows! My two-legged family members were each at home, safe in their beds.

"Ready for coffee?" was my only question as the hubbie joined me in the driveway. "Yep," was his only response, knowing there's fence to be repaired when the sun comes up.

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