Some weeks ago on the way to work, I crested the first hill going north on Vera Road and found an entire herd of cattle making a break for it through a gate that had been left wide open. One little group was already far down the hill, and one slightly larger group was in the road and moving north. The entire rest of the herd was gathered at the gate ready to make their break.
It was easy enough to herd the cows still in the pasture away from the gate. They slowly ambled away toward the north. The group directly outside the gate was a bit of a problem. As I slowly inched my car between them they moved north, too. Eventually I had parted their little group. I got out of the car then and quietly "shooed" at them. They turned and made their way back into the gate. That left the brave rogues who were already far down the road, enjoying the greener grass.
I was sure one of the Orc's big mining trucks would be coming from the north soon enough, and that would cause the cattle to move back toward me. If I just backed the car up south of the gate, any oncoming car or truck would hopefully pressure the cattle toward me and I could direct them back into the gate. But no traffic was visible. I finally eased the car past the wayward cows. By getting out, I was able to move them back toward the gate. Luckily,they entered the gate instead of continuing on past it. Though I was careful to not scare them or cause them to run, once the stragglers entered the gate, they decided they were in a hurry to join the rest of the herd over the hill to the west, so they loped over the hill. Out of sight. Not a single cow was visible.
I struggled with the barbed wire gate. I was not strong enough to close the gate all the way and could only get one end or the other into the wire loops that hold those wire gates taunt. I at least had the gate across the opening though it would fall down at the first pressure from the cattle. At least none of them were on the road now.
As I was walking back to my car I had left a distance to the north, a truck came hauling toward me. Turns out it was someone coming to make sure that gate was closed. I explained I had moved the cattle back into the pasture but was unable to close the gate. I explained there were about 25 cattle out. When I looked up toward the gate, there was not a single cow in sight. Not one.
I just hope that the guy did not think I was telling a lie, as in "Yeah, that broken-down old woman claimed to have herded 25 cattle back but there were none in sight!" Or that he thought I was exaggerating, like maybe only one or two were out. I was raised around beef cattle and helped herd the gentle beasts many times. As long as you do nothing to scare them, it only takes a little pressure to move them. They can be contrary, and sometimes a cow with a calf will match wills with you, but most often, just as that morning, they all graciously agreed to move back into their pasture at an old woman's bidding. Honest.