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It’s 9:30 at night, I’m in my pj’s, my sons are both gone, my daughter is in the shower, husband in the barn.  The phone rings, it’s our neighbor “Our new neighbor to the North said he has 9 black and white cows in his yard”.

Great, I bang on the bathroom door, tell my daughter, change clothes, search everywhere for flashlights.  I’ve bought 4 of the new LED lights that are really bright and shine a long time…….can’t find a single one!  Head out to the barn to get my husband, load up the truck, call my one son to meet us there, take off down the road.  Pitch black, in fields of beans, corn, pasture and timber.

We get there in about 5 minutes, start trying to figure out where they are, find them, then try to figure out where they got out and why.  It’s a huge pasture, they have plenty to eat, and we see the corner post broken and the entire fence run over.  Something chased them through.  My son, husband, and daughter take off through the pasture to corral the heifers and lead them back through the gate.  My job?  Stand by the gate and bang a bucket of feed, we always bang the buckets when we feed cattle so they know the noise and come.

Ok, I’m standing there waiting while they walk to the other side of the pasture, I have no light, no weapon, no one else with me.  I start remembering that last year we lost three large steers to “something”, no trace of what, but one was partly hung up in a tree.  Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, is that a noise?  Then I hear the coyotes howling, second time tonight.  My husband saw a wolf earlier this summer, was that in this pasture?  Ok , I know Big Foot is usually in a much more mountainous range, but does anyone really know if they’ve ever been sighted in Jo Daviess County?  Here I am, ready to run, no light, no vehicle, I’m a sitting duck!  I hear a rustling noise…..I know I’ve been out here for hours…….

It’s the heifers, they found their way through and back into the right pasture.  They calmly walk up to me looking for the feed I no longer have because I knocked over the bucket in my haste to go nowhere…….yep, I’m a lot of help.  My family comes back, talking and laughing about how well that went, pick me up, and we’re back home, it’s 10:00 p.m. and it only took 1/2 an hour, but for some of us, it seemed much longer!

I’ll have to take cookies over to the new neighbor we didn’t know we had until tonight, we never went back over and thanked them.

“Hi, I’m the farmer over the hill with the cattle out, we’d like to thank you for letting us know…..”  been through it before and I’m sure with our “Big Foots”, I’ll be doing it again.