Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Until it was not

Nothing makes one feel so strong as a call for help.
                                  George MacDonald

Early mornings on the farm are quiet until they are not. Yes, the bird's chirp, the blackbirds pick the stones from the shingles in the eves troughs. The occasional scampering of another red squirrel on the roof, these are all normal sounds. Every morning I expect those sounds, well maybe not the scampering red squirrel, and it soothes me.

This morning, there was a constant blat from a calf. It is normal, especially in the mornings to hear soft mooing and answers back (blatting) when Moms call their calves to follow them. This can be quite loud but usually, settles down as everyone finds each other. It is not normal for one cow and one calf to constantly call each other. It is not normal for one Mom to keep calling over and over so much that you are concerned enough to get yourself out of bed.

That is exactly what I did.

Most times this is nothing to worry about but in our experience(we have lost calves, or one has hopped the fence) it should be checked into. Neither of these makes me happy but it is part of farming. As I threw on some long pants and a hoodie I grabbed my camera as I exited the house.

As I opened the barn gate, the Mom’s moo jumped up an octave or two. That made me rush. I turned into the field behind the house and could see a calf running the fence. Apparently, the Mom had left when junior was still sleeping. Now, on the wrong side of the fence, the calf had panicked and was wanting his Mom. She kept yelling at him to walk across the field and head through the gate. She was not coming to get him.

Now, sometimes this makes me a bit annoyed at the lazy Mom but the little guy was panicked so I took it upon myself to go rescue him. The only thing was he was on the wrong side of the field. This meant I would have to take him into the neighbours pasture and scare him all the way down the property fence to another gate.

No problem. Well, that side of the fence line is sheltered by prickly ash bushes and cedar trees. You guessed it. The little guy decided to take me the hard way. I followed him up the fence line. I ducked under the low cedars. I pushed my way through the prickly ash that ripped my hoodie. It was a good thing I pulled on that hoodie, my arms would not have liked that too much.

The Mom was on the other side, which by the way is all cleared, which meant smooth sailing for her but she still kept yelling. I should have been yelling I was being “Ran through the gutter” as my Grandma used to say. The little calf stopped halfway and tried to get through a very small opening in the cedar rail fence. I caught up to him and gave him a nudge with my hand. He took off like a shot towards the open gate a few meters away. 

He walked through the fence where his Mom was waiting with his breakfast.
I did not catch that happy moment when they first met, as I was tangled in prickly ash. When I pulled my clothes out of the grip of those nasty bushes I walked through the gate too. Mom was feeding her calf and everyone was happy again. All was quiet, just as I like it.

It was fun until it was not.

I do have one thing to say about that happy reunion. Would it have been too much to be acknowledged for my work, from either one of them? Well, at least there were daisies.


Please forgive me for the sporadic Blog posts. It is a very busy time of year for us, here on the farm. I will post when I can. Thank you for your understanding. So many stories but too little time. Hug B