Americans need to start being that one cow…

Every farmer or rancher who raises cattle has that one cow. From the day she is born, she will not stay in the pen or pasture. She will not conform to your fences and your rules. Everyday when you go to check the cattle and feed or water them, she will be in the pen with all of the other cows. Five minutes later, a neighbor is calling saying you have a cow out. It’s her. It’s always her. You go back and put her into her safe pasture so she won’t wander away, get killed by a car, or some predator. You walk the fence and look for how she escaped. You fix every possible hole. She is lying under a tree watching and laughing at you. She sometimes will humor you for a day or two before you get another call that she is out. Sometimes not. What she will not do is escape while you are watching.

Farmers rotate cows to different pastures during different times of the year according to crops, rain, and calving season. You can move this cow to another pasture or pen and she will immediately find an escape route. You can move her back to the original pen 6 months later, and she will immediately escape using her prior method. She will remember where her escape route is if you didn’t find it and repair the hole. If she stays inside the fence, you found the hole but she will find a new one in a few days.

This is the cow farmers and ranchers always intend to sell because she is a pain in the ass. Does she ever get sold? Nope. You can’t sell her if she isn’t inside the pen when you’re loading cows to take to sale. She isn’t stupid. She is also the cow who hides her calf when it’s born. When you go out to tag or check calves, hers is simply not there. You won’t find it. She will bring it to you when she is good and ready and not before. She lives for years and years and produces many healthy calves. She is never in the pen or where she is supposed to be unless she wants food or water, but she isn’t standing in the middle of the road either. She is nearby. Sometimes she is just on the outside of her own fence. As the seasons progress, she makes friends. Cows who escape and stand outside of the fence and go exploring with her. She will never comply and others always eventually peacefully follow her. Every farmer and rancher has or had one of her kind. Every farmer and rancher gives up and stops even trying to keep her inside the fence and in compliance. It’s not worth the effort.

Be that one cow instead instead of a sheep.

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