Just like in people sometimes cattle have genetic defects. We had one present itself and while my husband was very disappointed I was kind of excited. You see Stewart is a dwarf. I thought that when he was born he was the cutest thing ever and as he grew the cuteness didn’t leave. He has the large head and the short little legs that add up to the cutest steer you will ever see.
So being the unrealistic optimist I am, I had a plan! Stewart would get to grow up with his other siblings and when the time came for them to go to town he would stay in the lots and I would show him that people are nice and feed you and he could be a pasture pet to someone that thought that he was a cute as I did. Well the day finally came that his pasture mates were headed to town and he was sorted off. I was so excited to get him prepped for his new life that I rushed into his pens to take some pictures to send to my friends so that they could see how cute he is. As soon as I got in and started snapping pictures I noticed that he was coming to me rapidly and not in a friendly manner. I let out a little shrike as I was climbing to safety on the other side. My husband while laughing came to see what was happening because, surly the cutest little steer didn’t just chase me out of the pen. (Granted it doesn’t take much to get me running to the other side of the fence, I’m more of a long distance runner then a sprinter and I’m confident enough in myself that I don’t need to be the toughest cattle puncher around.) So we got on our horses to move him to the pen that he would be staying in while I tried to become his friend. Well the little stinker tried us while we were horse back! We kept him in the pens for a few days while I tried to tempt him to like me with treats and hay and grain and all I got was him disliking me even more. So now he lives with my bottle calf where he is very confused about why his buddy likes getting rubs from me and always comes running when he see’s me.
I was pretty heart broke that my great plan didn’t work but I think that I also learned to really good lessons from Stewart. (You know like Stewart Little…)
The first lesson that I learned, which is one that I tend to have a hard time with and learn it often, is that no matter how much you try some people/animals/thing will never like you. It doesn’t matter if you give them everything you have and have the best intentions for them they might not ever like you and you have to just move on. I wanted Stewart to be my little buddy so bad and I had great plans for him, he would get to live his life out in luxury as someone’s beloved pasture pet and I tried to give him all of the goods that I could think of that he might like. But just like people you can’t buy friends and sometimes you just don’t mesh.
The second lesson that I learned and probably the most important that I learned was that when we are given a problem we can look at it two ways. One way is to look at the bad and waller in how bad you have it. The other is that you can embrace that problem and figure out how to use it to your advantage or to at least work to overcome it instead of wasting energy and opportunities fighting it. Being born a dwarf was not a great thing. For any of us involved, if it was a perfect world he would have been just like every other calf. However, when I first saw Stewart I saw his problem as a benefit he was cute and he was going to stay cute so he would be able to live a life luxury and probably not go into the food chain like the other calves. Instead of working with us and using his problem to help him go further in life he put up a fight and unless someone wants a really cute guard calf he is going to the food chain. This past year and it’s looking like this year as well have thrown me and I’m sure most of us curve balls. We have had to learn how to embrace change and figure out how to solve some problems. I know that sometimes I take the Stewart approach and want to fight it but in the end wishing that we lived in a perfect fairy tale world does nothing but keep us further from our goals. We need to identify the problems and then take them head on.
So although it’s hard, I hope that your trying to not be a Stewart! I know it’s a constant struggle for me but remember to not always look at your challenges as a problem but more as an opportunity. Oh and not everyone will like you no matter what you do and as hard as that is to swallow (at least for me) remember that not everyone has good taste!