The Tale of Two Heifers

the grass is always greener...

A friend and I had a misunderstanding. Actually, we had 15 misunderstandings rolled into one screaming ball o’ hate.

It didn’t help we both have rather strong personalities. As my farm boy husband explained, we were behaving like two heifers in the same pen.

And now for little agricultural background. (You never know what you’re going to get when you visit this blog, do you?) Herd hierarchy develops among cows. Yes, that’s right. Among cows.

There can be only one queen per herd. And if two dominant heifers are in the same herd? Well, all manure breaks loose to determine who the lead bovine will be. Sorta.

“Tell me,” I said to my husband. “How do cows fight?”

“Well, that’s what’s so funny,” he said. “They butt heads. It usually doesn’t hurt them physically. They just run through the field throwing their weight around and butting heads with each other.”

A head game. Literally. Same way my friend and I fought. Same way most women fight. We take it underground.

A few snippy emails, a series of jumping to conclusions, a whole lot of ill feelings later, and we had to be separated. No one was physically hurt, but the damage was done. We retreated to opposite ends of the meadow.

Problem is, we’re not cows. There is no herd. The imaginary pasture we tussled over is as big as the sky. Plenty for everyone to graze to her heart’s content.

More importantly, we worship the same God. She visited the hospital the day my son was born. We’ve spent hours in each other’s homes over the years. Prayed for each other’s kids.

So when in humility she peeked her nose over the fence and said, “I’m sorry,” there was no question what my response would be.

“Me too.”

back off, sister. this grass is mine!

I don’t want to imply forgiving or apologizing always comes easy. It doesn’t, at least not for me. I hold out hope though that it can come.

Another’s offense, hurtful as it may be, is slight compared to the avalanche of which I’ve been forgiven. It may take years of struggle, but forgiveness is a high road and being forgiven a cherished state.

In the case of the two heifers in our story, it didn’t take years. Thank God. Reconciliation. Clean start. Moving forward. Into the pasture and beyond.

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 NLT

From cows in the field to snakes in the well, Patty Griffin’s Forgiveness.

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Filed under humor, women's studies

19 Responses to The Tale of Two Heifers

  1. Brad

    May I just say is was very brave of Jeff to compare you and your friend to cows . . .

  2. Great post! I wish it were as easy for us women as it is for the cows. They fight it out for a bit, then it is over! I’m impressed with your reconciliation with your friend. Hope it is over–like a couple of heifers! :)

  3. This is wonderful. And, I don’t throw the term “wonderful” around loosely.

  4. WOW I love this analogy and women do butt heads like heifers in a pen. A fantastic reminder we need to do more “I’m sorry” and forgiveness and get out beyond, I agree.

  5. SusanZ

    I am amazed at how you relate the story of you and your friend with a “light-hearted” analogy.

    • I hope amazed in a good way, SusanZ. I don’t mean to be flippant about the story and I apologize if it came across that way. There was plenty of hurt to go around while it was happening. Looking back, it’s easier to see how silly we were behaving. Hindsight is 20/20. Plus reconciliation lifts a ton of weight off us both. My friend confirmed she was able to laugh about it when she read the post too.

  6. When you said there was no question what your response would be…I immediately thought it was going to say “Moooo”….he he he he he he he

  7. Wonderful analogy! I’m glad you two were able to work out your differences.

  8. We goats have to have that battle over who gets to be the herd queen too.

  9. zweberfarms

    I love this as well, but another interesting thing about cows is: instead of a linear dominance (which one is the leader then the rest follow), cattle have a circular dominance.This is clearly demonstrated at a feed bunk where the cattle are all in a row. The dominate cow will push the others down until one falls off the end. Then the fallen cow will find room at the bunk next to the dominate cow, push her over and become the new dominate cow. It is a never ending battle to the top.
    I too have a lot of trouble with forgiveness. It is something I pray deeply about. I’m glad you and your friend were able to work things out. If we live our lives like cows, we are in a constant struggle. That is not the life we were intended to live.

    • So true, Emily. Thanks for the lesson in circular dominance. Sounds tiring and frustrating! And (sadly) sounds a lot like human behavior as well. Maybe even more so than my husband’s observations of what appeared to be linear dominance from combining herds on his family’s dairy farm years ago. Two heifers battling it out would be easier than all of them battling it out all the time. A never ending battle to the top… I agree–thank you, Lord, that is not the life we were intended to live!

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