• Jane Wheeler

Awkward & Other Farm News


Names and locations have been changed to protect the naked innocent.


Once when Brian and I were out quadding somewhere, we decided to check in on a fellow to see how it was going, I was driving.


We were probably about halfway up the driveway when we saw the fellow. I looked and my mind went, “nooooo, can’t be…” as I kept driving, trying hard to figure out what my eyes were actually seeing. I believe I said out loud to Brian, “I think he is naked.” Brian remained silent. I kept driving because I could not believe it was true, maybe shock or trauma or I’m not really sure.


This fellow was picking something into a bowl, kind of leaning over so it was hard to get a full view, not that I wanted one…..all of the sudden he turned his back to us and began to run for the house. No doubt about it – definitely naked, the very white butt cheeks confirming it.


As I pulled up at the house Brian now says, “We should just leave.”


I hissed at him, “Now? We are at the house.” I told Brian to get off and be the one to go talk to him, it would be better to be a guy talking to him, not a woman in this situation.


Brian simply says, “Awkward” and does not move.


By now the fellow is dressed and yelling, “Who is there?” He comes around the house, thankfully clothed.


We have our discussion and quickly leave as the air of “awkwardness” hangs over us all.


Later on, I say to Brian, “Some help you were.”


He replied, “I thought we should have turned around halfway up the driveway.”


Me, “You did not say a word!”


Turns out it was his inside voice telling us. He kept thinking, “Awkward,” and yes, it certainly was.


Awkward definition: difficult, tricky, unhandy OR embarrassing, uncomfortable, unpleasant and delicate. I am pretty sure this classifies as description #2 for all of us involved.


What do you do in awkward situations? We all come across them from time to time. Is there a proper way of handling it? Personally, I wing it! Brian kind of freezes. I mean maybe we should have turned around halfway up the driveway, probably should have followed this advice: If in doubt, get out! But we didn’t.


Then I had another situation probably a #1 version of awkward happen as it was tricky to navigate.


I was out checking my fence lines for my cows on the quad, something that I do daily.

We have 4 beef cows in this field and they usually go the other way when they hear me coming. They have stopped “running” away but they do not head towards me, I guess you could say they “tolerate” my presence.


Well on this particular day, I was driving along and there were the 4 cows laying down smack in the middle of the trail. This was different. As I got closer and closer, they one by one stood up and simply stood their ground staring at me. They were not going to let me go by and they were not going to leave to unblock the trail. I stopped the quad and turned it off and started talking to them. They simply kept starring at me. All of the sudden up pops this 5th head!!!


I was shocked, the 5th head had not been there yesterday. It was a small head and my first thought was, “Oh my stars, one of the cows had a baby!” (3 of them were heifers).

But then when I got a better look, I could see it was not a cow. But what was it?


Awkward… Do I get off the quad and start walking towards it to get a better look? Or do I stay on the quad and drive through the cow crowd? Awkward … and you know the vibe those cows were giving off was saying, “Make our day and try it!” I felt it was tricky, a delicate situation and all I could hear was our friend Nelson, our cow farmer friend, look intently at me and say, “remember, cows can kill you,” and decided: if in doubt, get out!


I shoved the quad into reverse and backed up, I did not feel like testing my ground with the cow posse. I found it so strange that they were protecting this animal. It could have been a goat, a baby elk… I truly was not sure.


I headed back around and attempted to come into the trail from the other side. Wouldn’t you know it Mr. Grey Steer put his full body across the trail and just glared at me. Nope… I was not about to take him on, he is a very big boy!


I call Brian after taking a picture and he sends me back, “Can I call you later?”

I shrugged and thought “sure,” but I send the picture with the caption – ‘we have 5 animals in the field…’ knowing he would call. He calls immediately.


We both figure this animal to be a goat, it has no horns and is a dark brown head. I take off down the road to our neighbour the goat farmer and show her the picture. She immediately recognizes the animal as a sheep not a goat and she does not raise sheep. This particular goat is a special bred and she is not sure who in the area has them.


She does some phoning and texting for us to try to locate the owners but no one she knows has this kind of sheep. We have approached numerous farms all around the area to see if anyone is missing their animal. I can tell you when I pull up at a farm I do not know, it is another form of awkward.


You see most farms have dogs, usually big ones. I am a dog fan but not of protective dogs (or cows) when they think someone is moving in on their territory. I am kind of thankful that most of the people were not home when I arrived, because I have a system and I bet it looks awkward when I do it. I pull in and open the car window, and listen. No dog barking is a good sign. Then I open the car door and stop and listen some more. If no dog is barking, I set my feet onto the ground and stand up and look madly around. I gingerly walk, head bobbing in all directions, leaving the car door open in case I have to mad scramble back in. I slowly walk towards the house.


I am happy to report that I have only found one fluffy puppy at a door and he was no threat. I believe God was watching out because it was only after I got back in the car that puppies mamma arrived.


While I am out having new experiences at other people’s property, the cows and the sheep are absolutely enjoying each other. Our red heifer has adopted her as a calf, as the next day when I went to check, she was licking the sheep down and she stays close by her. The sheep is always in the middle of the circle safely protected and happily pokes it’s head up while munching on something.


We think we have found the owner of the sheep! It may be that this sheep has to stay with our cows until fall because trying to get it could prove much more than awkward! The maybe sheep owner relayed that his neighbours dogs had come and killed 3 of his herd of 10 and scattered the rest. They had found a ram and had to try to capture it. They had to rope it and he said it was more than a gong show so he did not wish to traumatize this one. When we start to lure the cows in with grain, it will be much easier to get the sheep.


I would think that the relationship with the neighbours and the dogs is awkward. I would not be wanting those dogs around once I get my sheep back again.


For now, little Miss Sheep is content to happily munch in the field with her adopted mothers, soaking in all the attention. I am astounded at the care the cows are lavishing on this new addition, they have taken a stranger in as their own, very admirable.


The other animals vying for attention are the 5 puppies. Oh My Goodness they are busy little creatures! I have 3 remaining adorable chocolate lab puppies for sale – so if you are in the puppy market, or know someone who is looking, come meet our puppy patrol. They are ready to go by July 23.






If you come out, and you are lucky, you will meet Fred. Yes, Fred the attack grouse is still here. Last week he chased the quad and once flew at our heads when we were coming up the driveway. If I have forgotten to tell someone about Fred and they see this bird flying at them…. Well can you say – Awkward!

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