By Jane-Ann Heitmueller
Nearly four years ago when we purchased him at the local auction, we had high hopes that the handsome, young bull would be healthy, hearty and have a strong desire to procreate. None of our “ladies” had produced a calf in a while. Perhaps some new stock would get things moving in that department. We named him Romeo, feeling certain we would soon be adding several newborn calves to our small herd.
Although the solid black, six month old was quite an impressive sight to behold as he bounded regally from the cattle trailer into the pasture that warm spring afternoon, the “girls” continued to placidly graze on the fresh green shoots, hardly acknowledging the impressive stranger at all. Not even the bright yellow sale tag in his ear attracted their attention. We, on the other hand, were quite taken with him as we watched him strut around with his head held high, curiously observing his new domain. Yes sir, this fellow was going to be exactly what we had hoped for to handle the task at hand.
We waited patiently, and in due time two beautiful, perfect calves arrived. It’s been two years now and there have been no more births. We’ve begun to wonder if maybe it was a bad decision to purchase this young bull. Apparently, Romeo’s lack of procreation has been replaced by his ability as a comedian or demolition expert. We have come to the conclusion that he is simply a typical mischievous, bored, teenage boy whose major daily activity lies in amusing himself with fun and frolic.
We first noticed Romeo’s strange temperament the day I heard repeated banging sounds coming from the lower pasture. When I went to investigate, I could hardly believe my eyes. There was Romeo… happily butting his head against the metal hay trailer tailgate, causing it to repeatedly lift and fall with a thunderous boom, boom, boom! I almost imagined I could detect a grin on his face and am certain I saw a sparkle in those big brown eyes of his. He was having a grand time and kept at his mischief for over a half hour.
A few weeks later he rolled two 250 gallon metal barrels down the hill from the pasture to the creek bed below. Next thing we knew, he was pushing a five foot tall round bale of hay back and forth across the pasture, as well as tumbling around a 200 pound protein bucket as if it were a beach ball. He’s scattered sheets of tin, plows, metal scoops and a fertilizer spreader. It seems that Romeo had created his own private amusement park.
Another fact that makes us wonder if Romeo will ever grow up is his voice. It has yet to go through the normal transition from youngster to man. As most bulls mature they develop a strong, deep bellow. Our Romeo still sounds like a young girl, which is rather pathetic coming from the mouth of such a magnificent looking creature.
We’ve had several memorable cattle over the years, but Romeo certainly tops the list as the most unusual. Maybe we should have taken a clue from the cows the day he arrived, when they ignored him, wanting nothing to do with him. Has time now come for him to share his talents elsewhere? If you are in need of an entertaining bull, rather than a prolific one, please feel free to let us know. We’ll make you a good deal on Romeo and give you a written guarantee that you’ll enjoy hours of laughter from his daily antics.