May miracles never cease

Farm Forum

Hallelujah! It’s a good day! No need to move cows, no need for expensive repairs, no need to worry and fret. And the best part is that our cows are happy and content. And the story goes like this….

Shiver me timbers

Like everywhere else in South Dakota, our old rancho grande has been suffering from the cold north, south, east, and west winds. And because of these cold winter winds, each and every one of our water fountains or waterers has required constant monitoring.

And fortunately, so far this winter, things had been faring okay for us in the frozen waterer category. We had even bragged to a neighbor that only one waterer had given us any trouble. That bragging might have been our first mistake. Read on for what happened.

In our nick of the woods, not having some major type of winter time water problem is just plain unheard of. And unfortunately for us, the unheard of became a reality this past weekend when we heard “it.” The “it” was that familiar sound which we knew signaled trouble. We tried to pretend that “it” was nothing; that maybe the dumb cows just wanted a little more feed. What a foolish thought on our part because cows are not dumb-they just act that way sometimes.

A one a, a two a, a three a…

Now, the “it” or that sound I referred to is a well-known one. At first we heard just a soft bovine whisper; then the whisper was followed by a little whiney cry which quickly turned into a full-fledged beller. Yep, the distressed critters were telling us that they were out of water.

The lead cow’s beller was soon joined by the rest of her cronies in perfect harmony.

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Talk about synchronization—they were all on cue. Kind of reminded me of Lawrence Welk’s famous start-up signal–a one a, a two a, a three a.

Our cows’ start-up signal sounded something like this: “Waaa-terrr! Waaaa-terrrr! Waaaaa – terrrrr!” Followed by a full orchestra of bellers. And just to make sure that we understood their predicament, the bovine beller screams continued incessantly. When one cow quit bellering, another one took her place. Talk about drama queens. There was just no rest for the wicked as far as these gals were concerned–so we had to quick try to fix the problem.

Fixing the problem

The Green Crew flew into action (actually it was more of a stumble) and did our one a, two a, and three a actions to solve the problem. No amount of heat or hot water or this or that corrected the situation. So, after some phone calls for advice, it looked like a full scale dig up of water lines, which had to wait until Monday. In the mean time, the cows were still out of water so it was back to locating a large metal water tank and getting some hoses hooked up to fill the tank. Guess who got to watch the tank? Three guesses and the first three don’t count.

Anyway, the cows were finally watered and peace reigned for the rest of the day, at least from the cows. Not from Jane, however. I made it abundantly clear to all within earshot that I was not going to drag out hoses every day, watch over the tank as it filled, fight off crowding cows as they drank, and then drain hoses, and then haul those blasted hoses back inside to keep them from freezing. I had already done enough of that frozen water scenario in former years to last me a life time. So, it was my final conclusion that since we didn’t know if the water problem was going to be resolved-that the cows had to be moved or else!

May miracles never cease!

The next morning found us checking the frozen waterer just in case by some miracle it had become unthawed. No such luck. So, calls were made for our good buddies to help us sort and haul cattle. “Sure thing. We’ll be there right after dinner,” replied our friends. Hubby and I ate a quick dinner and waited for our help to arrive.

When they zoomed in with their trailer, we headed outside to help get things lined up. Now, here is where it gets interesting. Jim and I were arranging gates and setting up some panels, when our friends came across the yard with big smiles on their faces. They told us that the waterer was working.

“You’re kidding,” I replied. “Jim and I checked it just before dinner, and it was still bone dry.”

“Well, it’s working now and it has water in it and the cows are drinking,” they replied. “So I guess we don’t have to haul the cows. Right?”

“Right,” was my reply but I couldn’t believe my ears and had to go check the situation out for myself. Sure enough. Not only was the waterer working but also the hydrant that had been frozen. Thank goodness.

And then I remembered what I had prayed for at our noon meal. I had asked the Lord for some help because I knew it was going to be a tough day. How about that?

May miracles never cease.

Jane Green and her husband, Jim, live near Clark. Contact Jane for some public speaking, to order one of her books, or to register your comments. E-mail her at: