Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ya Know You're Good...

Just a bull chillin'

I don’t know if I have ever seen anything quite as amazing/frightening/unbelievable as the sight of an Angus bull flying through the air.  

I was in the barn milking the cow when the young bull we were "borrowing" made a flying leap for another one in the middle of the barn. Yes, all four feet were indeed off the ground! He was just intent on "doing his job", he never noticed anything else. Thankfully, there was a gate between us. Believe me, I stayed there behind the gate for a while, too.

So, I can only imagine how alarming it was for the Boss and a farm friend when they went to load the same young bull and he turned back in the loading chute and “flew” back over them, knocking them into the wall and sending at least one set of eyeglasses airborne! 

Thankfully, no one was hurt and the bull was eventually loaded in the back of the pickup and headed off to his real home.  But, it was noted that he tried to climb out of the truck for the entire trip. 

The next time the bull visited, he arrived in a trailer, escorted by a cocky young cowboy. A very cocky young cowboy who had heard the story of the bull's escapades on his last visit.

The bull stayed awhile and successfully completed his “assignment”. When he wasn't intent on his job, he was one of the most gentle, easily managed bulls I've ever encountered.

When it came time to leave, the cocky cowboy came back with the trailer. The bull walked into the trailer like he owned it and laid down…causing the cowboy to crow an exultant “Ya know you’re good when the bull lays down in the trailer!” while stomping his boots and giving the Boss more than one enthusiastic high-five.

The success he claimed was more a fluke of nature than anything else.  Sometimes, everything falls into place and works incredibly well.  Other times, not so much. 

Over the years, we have had more than one chuckle at the cowboy’s expense, saying to each other  “ya know you’re good…” when we knew we had absolutely NO control over the situation, so we could not claim any success or expert handling of the situation.

You might wonder what this has to do with the farm. 

All too often, it is easy to say we’re the best…that our model is the only way…that we are in some way perfect. actually think that...well, we're GOOD! While whatever we do in a particular situation may work---it may even work incredibly well---it is NOT the only way to do something. It may never even work out that way again. (and it probably won't)

What works for us will not necessarily work on any other operation.  What we consider success may not be for someone else. I would never presume to tell someone that our way is the only way and should be implemented everywhere.

Lesson Learned:
While humility and grace are quite honestly the best approach when working with others, and “ya know you’re good” may not always be the case, it does make me smile.    Every. Single. Time.

And believe me...some days you need to remember to smile!

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  1. Our friend and neighbouring farmer reared a Belgian Blue from birth and kept him as a working bull with
    his suckler herd. One day he decided to bring him in to attend to his feet and this meant separating him from his girls. He came quite happily until he got to the collecting yard, where he charged our friend and got him down on the floor - luckily G's elderly father was close at hand at got him away with a pitchfork. G was badly bruised but learned a valuable lesson - you can never trust a bull however much of a pal he appears to be.

  2. You know you're good when your bull is ok having a stick with a round thingie coming out the top of his head.