Anyway, I thought I'd relive my "eat shit" fame. So, please enjoy another flashback - I'd only been on the ranch a couple weeks . . .
Alright y'all, we knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. I was actually hoping later or never, but obviously my hopes have been dashed. You guys kept assuring me it would never happen, while I figured it was bound to, just because that's how I roll.
March 4th, 2011 marks the day I face-planted in muddy cow shit.
Now, the day started off relatively normal. I'm starting to get the routine down. However, today we were mixing it up a bit. We have a pen near the barn with calves in it, weaned and everything. My grandparents had been waiting for decent weather (and my grandfather wanted to wait for me to be here as well) to vaccinate, de-worm, and de-lice the calves. Then we'd separate the heifers from the bulls. My grandmother has let my grandfather keep some bulls this year, as he wants me to learn it (they were in the pure-bred bull business). So, we strayed from our normal routine and didn't feed those cows until after we were done.
We fed the Spring herd first, nothing out of the ordinary there. No new calves yet.
We fed the Fall herd after that, nothing out of the ordinary there. From there I tested the electric fence for that pasture, and then tossed some hay into the calf feeder. This area is a place just for the calves to get hay without their mothers getting all greedy and shit and eating it first. There are two little doorways that are just big enough for the calves to get in and out.
Next we had to get the chute ready - you know, break up the snow that had stockpiled in there. We separated 5 or 6 calves at a time to take into the chute. We had our syringes ready and our topical de-wormer/de-licer. I was in charge of walking up and down the chute to bring the cows up to the squeeze chute where they were to receive their treatments. At one point, when my grandmother, K and I went in to get more calves to bring into the chute, we were in some pretty mucky/muddy/shitty areas, and she called out as we were to run after the calves to keep up with them, "Keep your mouth shut" as the cow shit-mud combo goes flying. You might think that this was when I decided to get down and dirty. Oh no. I held my ground.
We finished with the cows, and we needed to move the bulls from the pen to the pasture across the drive. My grandfather, told me to go around and get the bulls out of the corner and out of the pen so K could whisk them across the drive. I could tell it was pretty deep shit-mud, so I was trying to be careful.
I failed. Miserably.
This was my moment. There were just a couple bulls left, and as I was walking in the suctiony shit-mud, my left foot didn't move, but the rest of me kept on going. My right leg was out far enough in front of me, that my thigh mostly prevented my actual face from meeting with the shit-mud. That and my hands, which thank God, were still in their work gloves. I attempted once to get my sorry ass up, but found that my left foot was half out of the boot, and the boot was in shit-mud up to the brim. And technically, most of my weight was on my right leg, bent completely, and if I could stand, I would have been standing on my tip-toes. Papa D had to get the last couple bulls out, one of which wanted to start coming my direction. Luckily, these guys aren't full grown, so I shook my rattle-paddle and hollered "shoo!" and he took off out of the pen. Papa D started coming to me and I told him to finish. My one attempt at getting up told me this shit was quicksand.
Just in case you ever wondered about it, it is rather humbling to be sitting in shit-mud up to your knees and technically your ass. You reach a moment where you realize, "Shit happens. Literally." And it's slightly embarrassing. I mean, the shit-mud obviously kicked my ass.
This is the shit that sucked me in. Literally. Two feet deep.
K had been on the phone with her brother who called at the most inopportune moment, because as she answered I fell. She asked if I was injured, I hollered back with no, and they finished getting the bulls across the drive.
Just for future reference, mud-shit in March is fucking cold. K was able to help me keep my left boot on - which was perfect because I really didn't want mud-shit between my toes. Not as appealing as sand on the beach. Once my foot was back in my boot, then she had to help me get my right foot out of the mud. I was only inches away from the "safe zone" (meaning the mud wasn't like quicksand). Once I got my right foot in that footing, then we hauled my left foot out of the suction of the mud-shit. I did manage to get some shit on my face as during one of our attempts to free me my gloves slipped on the rattle-paddle and smacked me in the side of the face. Remember, my gloves were covered in cow shit and mud. At least I didn't eat it.
My grandparents finished up, and we walked up to the house. I slightly remember walking a little funny as I had cow shit-mud from my knees down, and on my ass. We washed our boots off, and then Papa D played photographer. Now, trust me, if he had had his camera on him during this whole shitscapade, he would have been clicking faster than any other photographer ever. K had to take my coat and scarf off, I had kicked of the gloves (which were unsalvagable), but I had cow shit-mud on the cuffs of my sleeves, so she had to help me out of said coat. She let me borrow a pair sweatpants (which had to be rolled up about 4 times as she's like 6' tall) and a pair of socks. She was totally awesome and washed my pants, my coat, my socks, and my scarf for me.
I then got a ride home from Papa D (and had to borrow shoes from K as well) so that I could take the world's hottest and longest shower. I will say this, my legs were green. I'm sure my ass was, too, but I'm not that flexible. Nor was I inclined to look at my own ass in the mirror.
Oddly enough, I was never mad over this whole shitscapade. Okay, well, not fully. The second it happened, I was little miffed. But then I realized, there was absolutely nothing that could be done without assistance. I'm just lucky that once the bulls were in their pasture, they didn't call out, "THAT'S LUNCH!!!" Yes, my grandparents were laughing at me. But I was laughing at myself, too, so really, it's all good.
I'm just lucky it wasn't a true faceplant, although, I'm pretty sure, that too will happen at some point.
Because that, folks, is how I roll.
I am now officially a member of the Phi Beta Shit Club.