Today would be a good time to discuss injuries on the farm.  Why, you ask?  I’ll tell you.  I almost lost my two front teeth yesterday.

This is not an exaggeration, I sincerely almost lost one if not both of my upper front incisors.  As I write this, I’m sitting on the couch the morning after nursing a sore mouth.  I didn’t know teeth could get sore after a good smack but there you have it.  You learn something new every day.

We were working in a modest herringbone shed prepping the milking herd for drying off.  It’s hard to describe to those that have never been in a milking shed before but the best I can think of is that it’s a lot like the garage at Jiffy Lube.  The cows are loaded into the herringbone and lined up like the Rockettes with their backsides pointed towards me.  You don’t want to give them any room to move around so you pack them in tightly and lock the cows in place with two metal braces at each end.  Meanwhile, I’m down in the pit, a level lower than the cows so their udders are at the height of my shoulders.  Systematically, I start working on the udder at the end of the line and move my way down.  As soon as all the girls have been serviced, we remove the metal braces, move those girls out and start loading up the next bunch.

I was in the process of removing the metal brace to load up a new line of cows.  At that same moment one of the cows became spooked and bolted in my direction.  No problem, she’s simply running into the shed but I’m down in the pit and the railing protects my face from being kicked.  Except the metal brace was still in her way.  Needless to say, when a scared cow is running, she runs through whatever obstacle is in her way.  She hit that brace in such a way, it flew down into the pit and was stopped by my front teeth. The vet calmly came over and inspected my mouth for any broken teeth.  After about a second he declared everything was still in place we we got back to work on the cows.

I shudder to think of what I’d look like with two lost or broken front teeth.  Luckily I came off with only sore teeth and a touch of a smashed upper lip.  But if you look elsewhere….

My two big toenails are black and blue and in the process of coming off.  I can’t even tell you how that happened.  Something heavy must have stepped on them and since that’s such a frequent occurrence lately, I can’t pinpoint the time of injury.  My forearms are sporting some fresh bruises from working on strompy cows.  Patches of skin are red and irritated from coming into contact with cow faeces.  I knew I was allergic to grass but I never gave thought to being allergic to the grass in the poo coming out of a cow.

See?  Learning new things every day.

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