I”ve been talking about our spring crop of baby calves on Facebook a lot and people seem fascinated so I thought I”d share a story here.
Read carefully to find the PRIZE I”m giving away today and how to get your name in the drawing.
First let me say, we need the rain. It”s cold, it”s muddy and it”s no fun, but we need the rain so FINE!
Here are three calves all huddled together with one mama. I thought that was sort of odd. I”d have thought a mama would huddle with her own calf only, but apparently heat is to be savored no matter how close the relationship.
Wise cow (there is a moron cow coming later-hang in there)
Here”s My Cowboy walking through the herd, they gathered in a south west corner of our pasture, by some spindly trees because the wind is a bit less there, still not exactly toasty. My Cowboy was looking for 709. That”s a cow with an ear tag that says 709, thus the name.
There was a newborn calf but he was leaving the little guy for last. You (and I, let”s face it!) can”t tell but My Cowboy knew with one glance the calf hadn”t sucked.
Can you look at her udder and tell? Not me, but then it seems a little personal to me so maybe I just don”t automatically STARE. It might be one
of those “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” things.
But My Cowboy knew and so we are presented with a dilemma
It”s COLD. And the little guy is shivering.
We”re a long way from the barn, it”s across the road and the warm bottle of milk we can produce is in the house. And separating the cow and calf isn”t a good thing if it can be avoided because sometimes the cow won”t claim the calf later.
Thus begins the MORON part of this story….most of which I didn”t get pictures of due to My Cowboy”s gently requesting that I “GET BACK IN THE KUBOTA BEFORE SHE KILLS YOU.”
I am ever obedient. (some may say a coward, but WHATEVER)
So normally My Cowboy would attempt to get the calf to nurse. He”d push the little guy up beside his mama and she”d gently moo and nudge him toward warm and live sustaining food.
The Moron Mama made a slightly different choice.
She decided to KILL ANYONE WHO TOUCHED HER BABY!
So this next picture is the Kubota. It”s a little 4 wheeler with a truck bed. You can”t really see it but it has a removeable stock rack on it. It”s usually not there but that night My Cowboy put it on before he went out because he had a feeling he was going to have to haul the calf into the barn, which is outside the fence, across the road and down our driveway.
Sling the baby into the little pen with 4 x 4 wheels and off we go to the barn with loving obedient mama following.
Then the rodeo begins. (I returned to the Kubota at this point for reasons of SURVIVAL so the pictures no longer record the rodeo)
My Cowboy hoisted the wriggling, soggy little guy into the truck bed, but MAMA WENT NUTS. You have NEVER heard Spelutbud/MjukvaraSom sa pa manga andra ar det framforallt spelautomaterna som dominerar och ar bast hos Casino Room. such bellowing. Like the meanest El Toro you”ve ever heard. She tried to climb into the Kubota and there is NOT room, excuse me!!!
And then, when we had the calf all penned up and My Cowboy had leapt out of the truck bed, run around the Kubota on the side the cow was NOT on and jumped in, to lead the parade home. MAMA MORON RUNS MAD. I mean like she runs AWAY. She SPRINTED straight away from us.
“But WAIT, come back!”
No, she”s searching EVERYWHERE for the baby.
“But you were right HERE. You SAW us put him in the Kubota. You tried to climb in yourself!!!”
We really did.
We went after her, tried to get the Kubota close so she could see her baby, instead, she SPRINTED back to the far corner of the pasture to SEARCH SOME MORE.
So … we debated a long time, and by WE I mean I sat while My Cowboy mutter things best not typed here.
He didn”t want to separate cow and calf overnight for fear MAMA MORON will forget she ever had a calf. (they do that when you least expect it!) But he didn”t want to leave it out there shivering, even though he fed it so it”s tummy was full of warm milk.
So, we brought him into the barn.
So late late that night, I (the insomniac half of this marriage) awoke My cowboy to say, “there”s a calf bawling.”
He said, “Probably the new baby down in the barn.”
It was raining and blowing and in all ways NOT a night to be out if you can help it. I hated to be the voice of doom but I said, “It doesn”t sound like it”s coming from the barn.”
At this point the calf bawled and My Cowboy said, “I”d better go check.” Well, he didn”t say that exactly, he muttered things best not typed here. He got up and got dressed and went outside and was gone for a long, long time.
A Long Long Long Long time.
Finally he came back and the wind (the endless, howling wind on the dark and stormy night…) had blown the barn door open and the calf had tried to go back to MAMA.
Which meant the calf had walked down our driveway, across the road, through the ditch and was up against the fence to the cowyard where Mama was. Pretty lively for a little guy who was shivering like mad a few hours earlier.
My Cowboy hoped against hope his mama was would be right there, right across the fence, bawling back, trying to get through to her baby.
He would fling the gate open, shove the calf through and all would be well.
Moron Mama was still … well, we didn”t find her until morning but we assume she was in the EXACT SPOT WHERE WE LOADED THE BABY THE NIGHT BEFORE.
Because that”s where she was the next morning. A half a mile away on the far side of the pasture.
So My Cowboy gave up on the mother and child reunion being only a motion away. He wrestled the little calf away from the fence, through the ditch, across the road, down our driveway and back into the barn.
So in the morning before I got out the door to work, My Cowboy comes in, pretty chipper for 7:30 am on a cold, raining morning and said, “I gave the calf milk but only half of the amount he should get in a bottle, so he”d still be hungry, loaded him in the Kubota, took the calf over, found it”s mama, where we left her last night, and it was a perfect joyful reunion. She claimed her baby without a moment”s hesitation, made the obligatory attempt to kill me and the calf is already sucking.
The only part of this story that”s not true is the word “obligatory”. What My Cowboy actually said is best not typed here.
To get your name in the drawing for a signed copy of Swept Away, leave a comment and tell me a story of a close encounter with an animal. They don”t necessarily have to have tried to kill you, but it would be fun if they had.