Shepherd's Way

Kip

Conversation with Mr. Ed Lynn Jarratt

Kip I had a calf, Julie, who I raised from my favorite cow, Jan. I wanted to keep her, but she never would make a pet of herself like my other cows. You know that I have always made it a point to pet all the cows. Julie was always the stubbornest thing. You could lead her up to the door one day, and she would knock you down going in before you were ready. Then the next day you could lead her to the door and would refuse to go in, and you would have to whack her one to make her even move.

I guess I should have realized what a problem she was going to be since she was the only cow that my ES, Kip, ever went for the nose. The first time I really knew she was going to be trouble though was when she got herself somewhere she didn't belong. I walked up to her, took my hat off and smacked her in the face, and said, "Get back yonder where you belong." Instead of getting back, well, she just put her horns down and she came at me. Fortunately, she hooked my hat and flung my hat away. That stopped it that time, but after that, she got to the place where you had to watch her constantly. If she could catch you off guard, why, she would come at you. My family wanted me to get rid of her, but I didn't want to because I was still trying to make a pet of her. I said that she would never bother me or get me because I would always take Kip with me and carry a stick. Well, she knew Kip, and Kip knew her. He could read her like a book. If she even thought about doing something wrong, Kip would go at her.

My nephews, Stanley and Keith, and their ES Sport started down through the barn lot one day, and Julie looked up and started marching toward them. When I saw that, I didn't say anything but "Kip." She looked up and saw Kip coming, boy, that stopped it right quick.

I had Jan and Julie hitched out here in the back yard one day. I went out to move Jan, but I wasn't going to move Julie. When I moved Jan, Julie wanted to be moved too, and so I went ahead and did it. Kip was out in the dog lot. Julie didn't bother me at all when I had an axe in my hand where I could have knocked her in the head. There was a peach tree that Daddy didn't want them to get to, and Mother had a quilt out on the line. When I hitched Julie, I didn't think she could reach it, but when I got to the back steps I thought maybe I better check to make sure she can't get to them. I had put the axe down when I started in the house. So without thinking, with Kip in the lot and the axe laying by the tree, I walked up behind Julie and was going to take the chain and lead her up to make sure she couldn't reach the tree and the quilt. Well, I walked behind her and she whirled around with her head down and came charging at me. I started running backwards and thought the chain would stop her, but she lifted that stake out of the ground. She came on at me. I never knew when she hit the end of the chain, but I knew I had gone too far and the chain wasn't going to stop her. She had a chain around her horns, so I reached out and grabbed a horn with one hand and the chain with the other. We played crack the whip all over the back yard while she slung me right and left. The ground was wet, and I was barefooted. If my foot had slipped, she would have pinned me down.

Kip herdingMother saw what was happening and was afraid Julie was going to run me into the fence and pin me there. Mother came out the back door and down the steps screaming. Of course Julie didn't pay any attention. She didn't care. I saw Mother heading for Kip's lot and thought if I could just hold onto until Kip gets here. Mother says that when she opened the gate, Kip made a pass at Julie's heels first, but I don't know. I didn't see him. I was just trying to hang on until he arrived. The first I knew about it was when he jumped up at her head. When he jumped up, I let go of the chain and made a dive for the iron stake she was hitched to. I thought if Kip couldn't stop her, then I could hit her in the head with the iron stake. When I got to the stake and turned around, she was already backing off with her head down trying to fend Kip off. Kip was snapping at her nose and backing her off. Julie went to the slaughterhouse the next week. That was it. I wasn't going to keep that cow any more. I also said that whatever kind of trouble in the past I had with Kip, he had paid his dues that day as far as I was concerned, and I held onto him as the founder of my line of English Shepherds.