Friday, November 13, 2015

The day and the hour





"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matthew 24:36.

I shipped some cattle to market this morning, and while loading them on the truck a bull took a swipe at me.

Now bulls are bigger than cows by a good margin, and as the day followeth the night, they have greater reach.

I don't often work with bulls from inside the pen. It's just the nature of the operation; while cows get handled and worked with 4-5-6 times a year, I only see the bulls in the corral once or twice a year, and even then they just get sorted off.

Eventually they go to market, though, which requires a bit of handling. I'm always cautious, and I'm pretty good at reading bulls and keeping myself safe and in a safe position.

Sometimes the difference between safe and unsafe is pretty small.

The 2,200 lb. bull kicked at me, and the tips of his hoof just barely grazed the left side of my neck. The kick was lightning fast and left no time for me to flinch away. I was right on the edge of too close, but I wasn't over the line. Another inch closer and the blow might have been fatal. There's a lot of important stuff in the neck; big arteries and veins and a trachea. I think there's a gizzard in there, too.

But I wasn't an inch closer. Skill and experience (and sure, a touch of luck) had me in the right place.

No big deal really. I remember the day the starboard main mount of an F-14 broke loose during a landing on Nimitz and missed me by about the same margin. Took the Unit One (aid bag) right off my hip. That wasn't a big deal either. A miss is a miss, and a miss is not a hit. Nothing to get hysterical about.

Worth thinking about, though, and reassessing risk management and mitigation.

Then you get back in there and carry out the plan of the day.











8 comments:

  1. Good to hear you're okay.

    Geez, where would I get my Nebraska fix were something to happen to you?

    Be careful out there!

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    1. Thanks Sarge. I don't plan on PCSing anytime soon. As you point out, my work here is not done. We're not all about korn and the big red n of nowledge in thish yere state. Though that does seem to cover most of it... :)

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  2. One of the riskiest businesses around, but the rewards are great, not in money but life style.

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    1. You nailed it on the life style Brighid. Working cattle is always on the top 10 riskiest jobs list, and it's potentially quite dangerous, but there are so few of us that the statistics are a bit skewed. I've had closer call in the commissary parking lot.

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  3. We Badgers store our spinal cords in our neck. Probably in the same location where you keep your gizzard. I am glad that you are OK, I would suffer cow withdrawl with out you. MOO!

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    1. I knew I was forgetting something!

      Thanks Scott.

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  4. From the writings of Alfred Wight, ( James Herriot ), and relatives in the dairy farming line, I know that the leading edge of a cow's hoof can be almost razor sharp.

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    1. Yes they can. They may look soft and fluffy from afar, but they're big, strong, tough as iron, and equipped to mete out righteous justice.

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