If a man lets a field or vineyard be grazed bare and lets his animal loose so that it grazes in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard. (Exodus 22:5 NASB)
Every so often we raise what we term a “naughty” cow. And our naughty cow recently went on a field trip to our neighbor’s house.
Naughty cows often arise when calves are out with Mom, and she is in a non-electrified fence. The curious calf naturally wanders to and then through the fence. The calf never learns that fences exist as boundary markers. Most of our calves eventually learn what a fence is, but need one hot wire to remind them. Naughty cows only respect fences with multiple strands of electrified wire.
Generally speaking though, cows are quite content to lounge in the area they are given. Sure, the grass is always greener elsewhere, but as long as they are not super-hungry, they will not cross a fence line to get it.
We currently have a naughty cow, and it changes the pasturing dynamic.
See this rope?
It is a bunch of baling twine that The Farmer’s kids braided together over the long winter. It is tied to a bunch of flimsy poles so that Malegra (our well-behaved milk cow) knows where her travel lane is to get from the barn out to her pasture.
The well-behaved milk cow is basically completely hemmed in by rope…one strand…about waist high. And she contentedly lives in her rope pen.
See this chain?
It goes from a stake in the ground, along the ground, and up to the neck of our naughty cow, a cow whose name we can’t even remember since we will not be keeping him. Naughty cows don’t stay on the farm long. Naughty cows become tasty cows.
Well, The Farmer recently swapped out the clip he uses to attach the end of the chain to the stake. The clip he used was inferior and our naughty cow found he could travel at will, dragging his chain behind him.
Following the various evidence left behind, it looks like Mr. Naughty took a stroll down the side of the road, around our neighbor’s yard, and then through a grassy walkway back to visit our milk cow. So in the morning The Farmer found him back home in the barn yard.
Thankfully the only “damage” done was that Mr. Naughty helped fertilize the neighbor’s yard. And since the neighbor is The Farmer’s father (who has a long history with [naughty] cows), there were no hurt feelings.
And the moral of the story? Whether animal or human, children need to learn their boundaries, or they will wander off into trouble later in life.