There is a weird thing going on in our pasture.
Here’s the way our pasture was, Before. It has been like this pretty consistently for seven years.
Frances, in royal purple, ruled the roost. Even the donkeys (yellow) gave in to her. They often tried to avoid her, staying out of her way as much as possible, but if it came down to it, Frances got to taste the new hay bale first, Frances got to test the water as Dave filled the waterer, and even Cheney gave in.
The two bull calves followed her around and did as they were told. This is pretty literal. She decided whether they were going to graze in the back portion or lie down under the big tree, or go get some water. They didn’t. They followed.
For a couple of days, we noticed that their world was rocked. Ours was too, of course, but Frances didn’t decide when I took a nap or got a glass of water or had dinner. For the boys, it was much more traumatic. They were rudderless.
Shadow and Cheney, the donkeys, kind of stayed out of the way.
Then, yesterday, we sold the two yearlings to the dairy, so they left us. It’s more than time to do that. They get big and we cease to trust them.
That meant that we moved the five middle-sized boys (including Blue/Little Al) to the pasture.
So now we have five six-month-old calves and the two donkeys out there.
There has been a massive power play in the last twenty-four hours.
It looks something like this.
Nature abhors a vacuum, and we had a big one. So Cheney has seen her chance, and she, by golly, is taking it.
She had been sort of dominated by little Shadow for a long time, and sometimes still is. Shadow is more pushy when it comes to following Dave around, for example. But Cheney is starting to see herself as Boss Donkey.
Dave moved some hay out to the pasture yesterday, and the five brothers, being new to the field, came over to check it out. Shadow took one look at them, expressed total disdain, and turned and walked away.
Cheney not only stood her ground, but brayed at them and then ran them off. She is going to be the one who gets to taste the new hay first.
I can almost sense Cheney saying to herself, “I have been waiting for this for years. That bitch cow is gone and I am gonna take over.” It’s reminiscent of a banana republic having a coup.
I am not sure if I want to slap her or hug her.
I have no larger point to make. Feel free to come up with one.