These are four of the five critters I had to feed by bottle the other night.
Let me introduce you.
Moe is the dark, handsome guy. You don’t see Curly – he’s behind me causing trouble. Moe and Curly are a couple of goof balls. Hopping around, kicking up their feet, causing general mayhem.
Prancer is the only female. Talk about ADD. She can’t stand still for more than three consecutive seconds. And, every time she has to dance around, she lets go of the nipple and twirls around. Which means I have to get her attention, get ahold of her again and get the nipple back into her mouth for perhaps 1.5 sucks before we start the dance again. Every dance step includes bending over and if I’m lucky – not stepping in a new pile of poop.
Twister could win a talent show that was looking for how far you can turn your neck while standing on all four legs. After much wrangling, this calf will start drinking and with each suck he turns his head until his head is upside down and you can’t hang onto the bottle anymore. Every third or fourth time he falls over and we have to start it again. Which once again includes a lot of bending and poop stepping.
And, then there’s Houdini. Now, this guy is an amazing drinker. Grabs the nipple right away and drinks the whole bottle without a problem. The problem is when the bottle is empty, he thinks he needs more and will follow you around trying to get more. This will include him banging his head up against any body part he can reach, sucking on the side of your leg and trying to get the nipple from the other calf you are wrestling with.
So, when he was done with his bottle, I corralled him behind a piece of plywood that was standing up against an old head lock. There was a triangle shaped space that would hold him nicely. When I came back with another bottle and was fighting . . . um, I mean feeding another calf I could hear him making a noise like he was knocking at a door.
I stopped feeding the other calf and looked over the edge of the plywood and he wasn’t there. A quick look around and I found him trying to climb up a board laying behind the headlock. He found a 10-inch opening that he squeezed through, climbed up another piece of board and was attempting to scale new heights.
I moved the piece of plywood and to say I squeezed through the 10-inch space would be like saying I shoved a 9-inch round cake into a cupcake holder, or a size 10 foot into a size 4 shoe, or . . . you get the picture. That alone wasn’t the worst part. The fact that Houdini is only 3 feet tall and I’m 5 feet plus 5 inches I got to be the one to clean out all those cobwebs and dust banners that draped across the top of the headlock and boards. I never saw that coming and there was a little bit of screeching involved with that.
I was able to turn him around and head him back where he came from when he spotted another board tipped on its side with an opening that would be able to hold about half of his body. Of course, he just had to attempt that. With his back side outside of that spot I pulled him back and turned him around to the original escape route.
Anyone who has messed with calves know they don’t move easily. Unless you’re talking about their bowels. Yep, as I was guiding him out, he pooped all over my leg and into my boot.
When I finished cleaning the bottles and headed home, I had about an hour to clean up and finish making dinner for company coming that night.
I mentioned I had to feed calves and one guest said something like “Oh, it looks like that would be so much fun. They are so cute and sweet looking.”
I nodded and smiled while under my breath . . . “as much fun as a three-ring circus in a haunted house.”