Early each morning during the warmer months as the sky was turning pink in the east I would go down the hill in the pasture to drive the cows up for milking. In the half-darkness I would locate the herd, roust them out of their "comfortable beds", and start them on. They would sleepily trudge on up the hill to the barn with me urging them on.
This particular morning when I got them in the barn one stanchion was vacant. A cow was missing. I knew it was one of the younger cows who was due to calve at any time. I went on, milked, and did the rest of the chores. After breakfast I with our dog, "Yipper", went to look for her. Sure enough she had a calf and had hidden it in some brush while she grazed nearby.
This was normal for a cow giving birth to a calf while in the pasture. The mother would usually select some secluded spot away from the rest of the herd, deliver the calf, and hide it somewhere while she stayed around nearby. I approached, got the calf up on his feet and out of the bushes, and started driving the cow toward the barn. The calf stayed close beside her.
All of a sudden the cow whirled around, and giving a mad bellow charged straight at me. I had no place to go, and for a minute I was just a mite concerned. Then I realized that Yipper was standing close behind me and she was after him, not me. She no doubt thought he meant harm to her calf. Yipper ducked farther around me trying to hide, but the cow was hot on his trail. I shouted for Yipper to "Go Home". However, he refused to leave his place of safety, and instead of running for home, he dodged around me to keep out of the way of the cow's horns. The cow circled close behind him. The dog continued to run tight circles around me turning sharper corners than the cow could at the speed she was traveling. But she tried her best to get him!
They went round and round two or three times, until the cow lost some of her enthusiasm and her sudden burst of anger cooled. When she slowed down I was able to step in and break up the chase. All this time the calf was just standing there, apparently wondering what the fuss was all about. I drove the still panting cow home to the barn with the calf keeping up with his mother. She kept a watchful eye on the dog all the way
An interesting start for the day!
Charles E. Page 2003