My Generation
The farm boy and the (escaped) heifers

The farm boy and the (escaped) heifers

Question: What's it do for a young farm boy when the heifers get out, his parents are gone...and he's able fix it, all by himself? Answer: everything.

You know how cows have this sixth sense for when you leave the farm? And then they promptly exit stage left? And you say, “Well, of course. Frankly, I’m surprised it took them this long.”

That happened Sunday. John and I ran up the road to lead music at our early church service. Came back home 30 minutes later. While we were gone, Nathan, 10, looked out the window to see heifers running down the road.

John, Jenna, Grandpa and I were all at church.

Nathan and another fully capable day with heifers, gates and wheels. Photos by Erin Ehnle.

Nathan flew into action. Instructed his little sister to call Grandma. Hopped into the Ranger and went after the heifers who were, by this point, headed east to the neighbor’s field. Got them back in, gate shut, squared away, all before Grandma got there.

When we arrived home, the heifers were penned and looking guilty, and Nathan was circling the perimeter checking for any strays. He wheeled up to brief us on the situation and you have never seen a prouder 10 year old in all your years. Granted, he did it in his church khakis and they may still be soaking because a farmer’s gotta do what he’s gotta do, but still.

Nathan was a man on a mission. There was a problem and he solved it. By himself. Success.

Seriously, now. Is there a greater accomplishment when you’re 10?

This is why we do this. Forget cattle prices and markets and weather and whatever. I have no doubt that morning will be etched in Nathan’s memory forever because his ability and responsibility and accomplishment all grew ten-fold over the course of an hour.

“I did it. All by myself.”

Those are the words of a farm kid.

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