I’ve been thinking about good ol’ Elko a lot recently. The memories I have of my years spent in BFE are of a simpler, back-to-basics time. I’m surprised no one ever caught me churning butter and/or mending socks. Whenever I feel exhausted and overwhelmed from running the rat race that is life, I think back to when I fell into a cattle guard, or the time jack rabbits chewed through important wires in my engine, and then sat atop my poor vehicle in triumph (those bastards knew exactly what they were doing). I am simultaneously homesick and relieved by my memories of E-Town.
As a city girl trying to make it in a cow town, I obviously had to make massive adjustments to my lifestyle. I also had some pretty good-make that hilarious-country experiences. One of my favorite stories of my ineptness, when it came to anything outside, involved a cow giving birth. To those of you who grew up on farms or ranches (or just anyone with a general knowledge of the world), you likely know what that’s like. I had no clue, and feeling shocked is putting it mildly.
Without further ado, Ranch Day…
Good Lord. Why did no one feel the need to tell me that a calf comes out of its mother’s bottom, in a disgusting bloody bubble? Oh, maybe because who talks about cows giving birth? Who has actually seen a cow give birth? Well, apparently everyone in Elko; with the exception of me.
I recently went to a local ranch as part of Agriculture in the Classroom. I bundled myself up nice and good-looking very much like Paul Bunyan’s sister, and boarded the school bus, eager to see my first ranch. The hat I wore was…well, I looked ranch chic, let’s just put it that way. Of course, the day our outdoor field trip was scheduled for was bloody cold, wet, and horribly muddy. FYI: not.fond.of.mud.
We were welcomed by the nicest, coolest, toughest broads I have ever met in my life. These women can wrangle an ornery bull to the ground, to castrate it, and then cook their men a full course meal. They welcomed us, a group of strangers, into their home. I was blown away by their kindness, toughness, and spunk. They were a real class act.
To get back to the beginning here…we were all sitting, eating, and from outside we hear a horrible wail. The Ranch Women excitedly tell us that one of the cows is about to give birth. They point out the window, and sure enough, there, not 20 yards away, is a really pissed-off looking cow. She was going around in circles, backwards and frontwards. She would awkwardly sit and then stand and then sit again. THEN…out of nowhere, literally, like WHOA, a bloody bubble starts coming out of her ass. I was shocked and appalled! I said out loud, “Wait, what, WHOA!” Everyone laughed and one woman stroked my arm lovingly and said, “We have a newbie here!” I could barely get my bearings. Now, I do not profess to be an anatomy whiz, but I have always been confident that mammals have things called uteruses. From these, babies are born. Why then, was this cow pushing her newborn out of her backdoor? I asked this aloud of course, because I am missing a filter, and I because I was truly mystified (horrified?). One of the women in our group looked at me and said, “Honey, she is not giving birth out of her asshole; that is where her vajayjay is!” Doh! I darn sure will never make THAT mistake again.
Lesson learned here is: not all mammals give birth like sweating, grunting, swearing women on their backside, with legs in air. Some birth standing, out in the freezing cold mud, and from their asshole (“woman parts”). I think all women should count themselves lucky they are not cows. You should also count yourself lucky if you have never seen a cow give birth. I need to go hose myself off, shower twice and bleach my eyes…
Additional lesson learned: Basic biology is obviously not my strong suit. Upon asking non-ranch friends, I’ve discovered that I’m literally the only person who didn’t know that cows give birth from what appears to be their bum. That, or people are just messing with me. In that case, eff all of you.
Kidding aside, what a learning experience! “Ranch Day” is a day that I will never forget as long as I decide to recall one of the most horrifying events ever witnessed.
*”Ranch Day” has been reposted from my retired blog, http://www.bigcitybetty.wordpress.com. All work is mine. I did revise and update the original posted piece.