Wheezy and I never really got along but we had an understanding. I was the boss and she would get feed and fresh water if she left me alone. She didn’t have this agreement with the rest of the herd though. She was pretty sure that one day she would be queen if she kept running the others out of the feeder or out of her way in general.
It was only a few weeks ago I was watching out the kitchen window. The herd was resting in the corral just enjoying the afternoon. All except Wheezy, she was wandering about. First up to the steers, she threw her horns at them and kept at it until they got up and left the area. She continued this until everyone was rearranged and out of her way. Sweet Caroline has spent the majority of her time here “bringing up the rear”, standing alone and eating alone because if she gets too close Wheezy would run her off.
Well Wheezy left a couple weeks ago. Her date with the butcher was moved up. I miss seeing the other set of horns in the pasture but otherwise I’m sorry to say that’s about all I miss about her. I know you’re not supposed to speak ill about the dead but I don’t think the rest of the herd is missing her either. Thelma, her surprise calf from this year found a surrogate mother is Sweet Caroline and has been doing just fine.
The calm in the barn that was before now seems a bit chaotic and we never realized. I can only remember a couple times that really stick out as times that things got a little sketchy. Even at that there was never a time that everyone could line up at the feeder at the same time or even all be in the barn together. Now, they line up and eat together, there is no running frantic circles in the barn to get out the door. No one is jumpy or constantly watching over their shoulder.
I knew that some animals can stir up the bunch or teach others bad habits. I knew that Wheezy gave everyone the run-around but I didn’t realize just how much of an impact she had on the herd over all.
Rest in peace Louise “Wheezy”.