Jenny and Dr. Thomsbymemorable_event©
Jimmy responded, "We all got to see him win the Derby over here at Churchill and he was something special. I'll never forget him."
"We better get going, guys. How many head do you have for me?"
"We now have 15 cows, 9 calves and 2 bulls. But I think we're going to need you here all week. It seems to be spreading quickly."
Jimmy continued, "I think it would be best to do the cows first and then the calves and save the big boys till the end. That way, if they break anything like bulls can do, we will at least have the others done."
The whole time this conversation was going, Jenny was focused on Matt and dreaming about what she would like to do with him. But she did hear the part about needing him there all week.
The cattle chute was all set and ready to go. These are designed to funnel the livestock down a long tight alleyway and into a cage with a neck clamp that trips when the shoulders of the animal hits a sensor. If everything works right, the head will just make it through the clamping bars before they slam shut around the neck.
Before they broke up, Jimmy went over the assignments and he said a prayer that everything would go right and no one or the animals would be injured.
While Jose and Mike headed off to start funneling the patients into the chute one at a time, Matt pulled Jenny aside and walked her over to the truck. She was surprised.
"Jenny, I'm worried about you today and I just want to let you know that. I know you want to help and we all appreciate it but this is new to you and it can be very dangerous."
She stared at him and asked, "How did you know I was new at this?"
"Several things but primarily the jeans. It is going to be very painful for you to work in them. I would just as soon you go back to the house and change into something looser."
"I'll be smarter tomorrow but we only have a few to do today. I can tough it out."
They walked back to the head of the chute and Matt said, "Jenny, you will be recording the ear tag numbers on each animal as they go through. Jimmy, you will be doing the fly repellant application and I will vaccinate them once we have a secure head clamp on them. Jenny, it is critically important for you not to have any part of your body inside the chute when these cattle are coming. Keep your hands away and stand back, it is going to get exciting. These cows and bulls cannot see very well. Their corneas have a white film over them that's caused by the bacteria. Right now, they only see light and dark and they will do everything they can to head toward the light. Well, guess what, the light they will head for with all their energy is the opening at the end of the chute. Usually, the neck clamp trips fast enough to secure their neck and stop their charge. But occasionally, they will be able to get their shoulder through before it trips and then, they will just power right out. So you cannot, under any circumstances, be standing in front of this chute opening when they are coming. Any questions?"
"No" she replied.
"Good, I don't want to see you get hurt. You are a very special young lady." She felt comforted by that.
"Jimmy, I think we're ready. Tell the guys to load the first one in."
In just a moment, the sound of the raging cow could be heard as it slammed against the sides of the metal runway. You could feel the pounding of its hooves and hear the snorting as it approached. Jenny looked over the top of a rail and saw the massive black creature charging toward her.
She yelled, "Here comes the bull."
Jimmy and Matt yelled, "WHAT?" at exactly same time.
Jimmy took a quick glance inside the chute and said, "Well, he's one of our feminine bulls."
Matt almost fell over he laughed so hard. Even Jenny, though embarrassed, thought it was funny.
Just then, SLAMMM!! The cow hit the chute neck clamps and they caught her perfectly. But just because the neck is trapped doesn't mean the cow can't shake her head. The poor trapped animal snorted and slung her head from side to side. Her bountiful slobber and snot was flung all over Jenny and Jimmy.
"Oh YUK!" yelled Jenny. Jimmy was expecting it so he just went about his job.
Matt knew not to laugh so he set about vaccinating the cow and didn't even look over at Jenny.
And so it began. It took about an hour to process all the cows and Jenny gradually learned to accept the copious steams of slobber and snot as part of the job. Since the calves were next, Jimmy adjusted the head clamps to handle their smaller size. They were so cute and calm, compared to the cows, and Jenny just adored them.
But then it was time for the big boys. After Jimmy adjusted the head clamps to their maximum size, he called for Mike to load the first bull.
Mike responded, "OK, but it may take a few minutes. He's really mad."
After what seemed like five minutes, the rumble began. Jose had hit the bull with a cattle prod to get him going and that was all it took. It sounded to Jenny like a freight train with hooves was roaring toward them. The sound scared her and she backed away from the chute.
The bull hit the chute so hard that the whole thing jumped off the ground. It sounded like an explosion to Jenny. Of course, Matt and Jimmy knew what to expect but this was all new to her. Suddenly, she realized why Matt had been so serious about her safety.
The massive head of the bull dwarfed her and she was almost too scared to reach in and check his number. But she did it and Matt was impressed.
The second bull was just as mad as the first one and the results were the same.
Finally, round one was over. No body was hurt and the animals were all fine and happily munching on new grass in the pasture.
Matt looked over at Jenny and saw she was wet from head to toe with cattle "juice." To his surprise, she actually looked happy and maybe even excited by their work. To Jimmy, it was just another job that needed to be done. Matt called them both over to the truck and handed them towels and wet-ones to clean up at least a little.
After Jimmy walked away to check on Mike and Jose, Matt pulled Jenny to him and looked into her eyes. "I'm very proud of you and what you did today young lady."
Jenny reached up on her tiptoes and gently kissed him. Then they both kissed each other seriously.
Matt asked, "Do you think you might have dinner with me Saturday night?"
She smiled and said, "I think I might. And I also think I'll dress more appropriately tomorrow."
Matt helped her into the truck. This time, he lifted her with his hand under her butt.
They stopped at the house and he reported to Donna that all the cattle would recover just fine. The entire herd would have to be vaccinated, however, so he would be back out tomorrow morning and probably every morning that week.
Jenny walked him to the door and they kissed again. Matt headed home but never thought about Cindy again.