Country Living – Fighting talk

Bikie turf wars pale in comparison to the turf war I’m currently battling on this farm. My turf war is the battle for the 1.4km of farm driveway stretching from the farm gate to my house, which includes six gates. I tell you now, it is a war I have every intention of winning. Let me set the battleground for you. To the west is an extremely low-ranking desperate housewife who travels along said driveway 10 times a day, usually in haste, and who also has a strange aversion to mud, gumboots and cow sh*t being flicked on her car. To the east are two high-ranking farm commanders with exceptional agronomy and animal husbandry skills. They are seeking to invade my driveway with their army of cows. Pivotal to their war-mongering argument, and perhaps rational to fellow farming personnel, is the notion that cows cause “deep pugging” in paddocks on extremely wet days and that the driveway needs to be kept free of long grass. Point taken. However, dodging stock and potholes was never intended to be my big party trick, so I intend to push forward with my fight for a stock-free thoroughfare in order to keep my sanity.

I would have been happy to live in wedded driveway bliss if the cows hadn’t got so sneaky and tricky all the time. The heart-shaped patches that many crossbred cows have on their foreheads seem fairly ironic when you realise they have got it in for you. Surely, polite cows would recognise that I’m always in a hurry and would keep off the gravel, stay on the grass and scatter themselves evenly along the 1.4 kilometres? All that space and yet the buggers deliberately choose to congregate under my clothesline and at the farm entrance.

The cows foul up the bus stop area. The kids drag poo in the car and get it on their clothes, which they think is funny, but I don’t. Meanwhile, at the other end of the drive, they see fit to wallow under the clothesline. When I go to hang up the washing, they stare at me with those big brown eyes as if to say, “What you going to do about it, lady?” The driveway wars take a turn for the worse when the commanders need to shut some of the gates. It does seem rather weird having a loud, abusive conversation with a farm gate, which you’re wrestling to get open in a hurry because you’re late for the school bus.

The fact is, I never imagined having a turf war. It has always been my desire to live in a world of free-flowing driveway harmony. Maybe the farm commanders’ arguments for the turf takeover are educated, but this does zilch to quell my frustrations. In my simple mind, I have established that cows aren’t keen on eating blue metal and that they are far happier in big paddocks. If I am forced to bring out my big “ranting” arsenal to win this war, I will.

But they may want to think about this first. Forget the long grass, because we can always mow it and, as for pugging, let’s look at it from a different male perspective. What if paddocks are the same as rugby fields? And cows are simply voluptuous ladies, wearing animal print corsets and stilettos, eating a sausage sizzle on the field at half time? That’s a good way of looking at it, ay? So guys, there’s really no need for bloodshed here.

Julie Cotton