Our house was up and kicking well before sunrise in hopes of getting Archie back into the corral today.
Isai went to his Grannie’s house early so that we could get going on the ultimate chase. My dad was up and at it with Aaron – scheming on just how we were going to pull this off. The two of them together found Archie right where we’d left him and started to drive him toward the nearby barn while I drove back from the sitter and Duane hauled over the trailer to meet them.
“We don’t have enough people,” Aaron told me when I arrived. At this point, I couldn’t tell you how long the two of them had been trying. But the arrival of Duane and myself was welcomed.
Archie had found himself a comfy spot at the Northern end of the neighbors’ bean field. There were a few directions he was likely to head once we started putting a little pressure on him to move. Ideally, we wanted him to head back toward our cattle corral. He could go over the fences and through the calf pen on the West side of their property, then South to home. Or, he could go South through the bean fields and meadows, then use the ATV trails to navigate the wood line to our pasture.
Luckily, we know the trails and terrain reasonably well. The late owner invited us to look around over the summer and we took him up on it. It’s a gorgeous property – and that little insight helped us tons today.
My dad shouted me into my position just along Wellman Road. I stood in the bean field like a giant looming scarecrow in my oversized black coat. My one and only job was to make sure Archie saw me and stayed away from the road.
Dad, Aaron and Duane started walking from the North and East sides of the North bean field – causing Archie to take off running South.
After a crazy jaunt through the Northern bean field, he followed the best possible path we could have hoped for. He rounded the silo and saw me standing in the field. As he continued South, I took off running toward the intersection of the road and tree line – hoping to keep him from following the fence line back to the highway. “You can’t outrun him,” my dad had said. And that much was definitely true. But I could run along the very area I didn’t want him coming to and make him nervous enough to not come near me and, more importantly, the road. It worked.
He watched me nervously, then turned into the wood line, jumped the old fallen fence and took off down the ATV trails.
Aaron met me with the truck so I could get warm. He and dad walked through the tree line and toward our own wood line. Unable to find Archie – we assumed he went home.
Sure enough, back in our own pasture, Archie was standing by his calves at the side of the corral. Aaron took him some feed. Dad loaded a hay bale. They opened Archie’s half of the corral and dropped the bale nearby. As the calves came to join in the excitement of a fresh bale, Archie followed them…all…the way…around…the corral. He was in.