I called their owner (in the land of black angus, holsteins are rare, so I knew who they belonged to). When he finished milking, he drove over. In the meantime, the cows had woken up, and wandered through a fence into our north field, which is mostly woods. They were munching on grass and weeds.
He rolled down his truck window and I asked him "are you missing some cows?" He answered, "I'm not really 'missing' them." I laughed.
He tried for quite awhile to get them to follow him, to come back over the fence, or through our walk-through gate next to the goat pen,
but they were full of grass and not interested in his big bucket of feed.
Hubby found the key to our seldom-used north gate and the dairyman drove down the road, honking his horn. The cows followed slowly, but when they got down to the gate they spooked and came right back.
They took a detour down to the pond for a drink, where the horses spotted them. We had a big stare-down over the fence between the equines and the bovines.
Then they ambled off into the woods. The owner gave up temporarily, and hubby said there's no big hurry.
That evening when I went out to feed the goats, all *seventeen* of the cows were there behind the fence, and excited to see me with a feed bucket in my hands. Evidently a few more had found the main body of the herd.
Juliet warned them several times that they weren't allowed to come near the goats' fence. They watched as I gave the goats their hay and grain, then scattered out a bit to graze on the grass on their side of the fence.
Thursday morning I saw black and white spots at the pond, but this time it really was our horse Splash on the wrong side of the fence. I opened the gate and let my wanderers back into the pasture where they belonged, drove a new t-post into the mud near the pond and retied the fence wire. I thought I heard a moo in the distance, but I didn't see spot nor hair of the cows that day. Their current whereabouts are still a mystery.
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