I have added a new task to my morning routine at the ranch. Yes, while the world was watching a beautiful woman turn into a princess this morning, I was wiping my eye crusties, pulling on my vest and muck boots and heading out to the barn to play momma to two drooly, stinky, snotty, lovable, furry babies.
Oh, it’s a slightly less glamorous gig than what that princess on TV will face in her life…a few less diamonds, a lot more snot, but simply another day in the life of the Queen of the Barnyard.
Queen of the Barnyard. That’s me.
Yes, I received my crown and the important and necessary job of keeping these babies alive and growing up big and strong when our neighbor up the hill, who has been calving during one of the most treacherous, snowy, cold and wet springs in years, found these babies abandoned in the mayhem of the spring blizzards.
Our neighbor is one of those ranchers who has been running the place his father ran for his entire adult life. He is an expert when it comes to the cattle industry and takes the job very seriously. Consequently, he has spent the last few snowy months painstakingly feeding and checking his cattle in the sub-zero weather, blizzards, ice storms, rain and the occasional, merciful sunshine in order to keep the mommas happy and healthy so they will deliver happy and healthy babies in the spring.
Because that’s what good cattle ranchers do best, especially and most importantly during calving season. They watch. They pay close attention to their herd, taking in which cows are close to giving birth, who might be having trouble, what cows may need a little help in order to be a good momma and what babies need medicine or extra TLC
And these babies needed a little extra TLC indeed. One a twin whose mamma wouldn’t let him suck and the other abandoned all together, our neighbor took them into the barn, warmed them up and begin the milk replacing, bottle feeding regiment. But with all the other tasks our ranching neighbor is charged with during days of calving and feeding and the fact that our cattle don’t come to the Veeder Ranch until the grass is green, husband, pops and I decided to purchase the calves and start a little project of our own.
And I was dubbed Queen…
Not because I’m the most capable, intelligent, and fairest of them all…
but because I’m home.
And I have time to devote to a morning and evening calf feeding ritual.
So all rise for the Queen of the Barnyard looking ravishing in a yellow and gray flannel, saggy, drool soaked jeans and a Carhart cap–much more practical head-gear for royalty with these types of responsibilities.
Responsibilities like putting her morning coffee on hold to mix up giant bottles of warm milk replacer and head to the big barn where the babies are crying.
Important tasks like sliding open the barn door only to be rammed and head butted and stepped on and licked during the calves’ search for the bottles she holds tightly in each hand.
Yes, the Queen of the Barnyard puts one bottle in each hand (with the exception of when she has a camera) to feed these babies. Because she is an expert at time management and doesn’t want to leave anyone waiting (or deal with the repercussions that would occur while feeding one calf and fending off the other with her free royal arm and corresponding leg…the results sure to be painful and sloppy)
But the Queen of the Barnyard isn’t all business. Oh no she isn’t. She realizes that she is these babies’ only link to the outside world and she must teach them to be calves. So when her subjects are finished drinking she distracts them from their instinct to ram her repeatedly with their noses until she flees to the house by tossing the bottles aside to begin the ritual of demonstrating to the babies what it looks like to run and buck.
She begins by running as fast as she can to distance the needy animals’ noses from her royal butt. She then launches her body half-way across the length of the corral in a leap, lands both feet in the dirt and then finishes it off with a jump and a kick.
Hands on hips the Queen waits for the response.
Her subjects stop.
and follow suit.
Her Highness laughs and claps with delight.
And the Queen’s subjects shower her with kisses and bid her adieu.
Then the Queen, a hot royal mess, climbs the fence to make the short trip home, only to do it all again in the coming hours.
Because this Queen goes above and beyond…and her work is never done.
Ah, princess Kate, you may have a castle and a country and a handsome prince, but are you the ruler of all this?
What about him?
But most importantly is this yours?
Happy Royal Wedding day everyone! I want to know what makes you king or queen of your household today.