Cows disturb the serenity of Deep Woods Circle residents

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Thuvia Stapp first became aware she had a problem about two weeks ago.

Stapp lives with her daughter and son-in-law, George and Kathi Needham, out on Deep Woods Circle. It’s a pleasant, pastoral location where most of the upper-middle income homes sit on lots of a size that would take even the most determined weekend lawn care warrior all afternoon and a couple of gallons of gasoline to mow.

But Stapp &045; who still has a decided New Jersey accent despite 10 years as a &uot;back-door Southerner&uot; &045; didn’t realize just how pastoral her new home was until she came face to face with her bovine intruder.

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While there are several neighbors in the area around Deep Woods Circle who keep a few head of cattle for one reason or another, none has stepped forward to claim the seven head &045; five cows, one bull and one calf &045; that have been vexing Stapp’s otherwise peaceful existence.

The Needhams’ yard is peppered with the evidence that the cattle are no strangers there. &uot;You can follow their trail,&uot; Stapp says, pointing to the tell-tale piles. &uot;I got most of it out of the driveway, but….&uot;

Her voice trails off.

Stapp enjoys living in the country and, before her uninvited guests began showing up, occasionally set out food to attract deer and the like. &uot;I put out two of those deer feed blocks the other day and the cows ate both of them &045; crumbs and all,&uot; she fumes. &uot;We’ve got deer, we’ve got possum, we don’t need cows.&uot;

The daily visits have also been nerve-wracking on Stapp’s Jack Russell terrier, Molly.

Stapp tried calling the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, but didn’t get much satisfaction there. &uot;They said it wasn’t their problem,&uot; she says, clearly miffed.

Next, she tried phoning the local office of the Alabama State Troopers.

Stapp says the troopers told her that their department used to employ a part-time wrangler for just such situations as hers. But with all the to do about the state budget deficit, she thinks he was let go in as a cost-cutting measure.

That’s when she decided to see if The Times-Journal could help. &uot;I thought if we put something in the paper, you know &045; ‘Found: a herd of cows.’ Then maybe whoever owns them will see it and come get them.&uot;

Until then Stapp &045; and Molly &045; will just have to manage the best they can.

Oh, one more thing. If you come to visit, careful where you step.