Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Some days...stink

Ice. Everywhere. I put on two layers and get ready for what I know might be a long day. 

I shed a tear early for a new one who didn't make it though the night. I try hard not to let the cold work it's way into my heart. Keep going...keep going...

As I feed, it rains. And then rains harder. 
I check all the girls. Some are dry, some are not. I worry about them in the cold, but one reassures me with her happy demeanor as I pass by. 

There is steam rising from them and I am reminded their bodies are warmer than mine. 

Mmmmm, they leave me as their fresh feed arrives. 

The day moves on, the rain keeps falling. By lunch I am ready for dry clothes. By 4 o'clock I am ready for more dry clothes. 

I finish feeding calves as darkness falls. I pick up my buckets to leave. Oh, I forgot to feed the cats. 

"Come on kitties" I say as I walk quickly towards the cat food dishes. They are under my feet, they can't contain their excitement! I reach down to pet one as we arrive at the bowls. 

Eeeek!! I jump away! One of the "cats" running along in front of me is none other than a huge, bushy tailed skunk. 

I run half way back through the barn. I wait for it to run out. It doesn't. 

I slowly creep back to the "cat corner". I am tip toeing, holding my breath. 

And there is the skunk, patiently waiting with the cats, for me to put out their food. 

In that moment I start to decide I might not classify this day as "good". 
I am ready to go home. 

I only have one last thing to do, check for new calves. Surely they would at least calve in the barn on such a nasty day.

With my light, I spot a cow at the gate. All the others are sleeping cozy in the barn, and here is this girl outside. As I get closer I see she is leaking milk and has obviously had a calf. Where is it? In the barn? No. Has it slipped out the gate? I don't see it. I bet I just missed it in the barn. Hmm. Not there. 

In fear, I began searching around the corners, down the hill. Oh no it's so cold and raining harder than ever. I worry every moment I am looking. 

 I need a brighter light and more help, both of which I find and continue the search.
After a few long minutes of flashlights beaming through the dark, I hear words of relief.
"Found it!"

And there around the corner, under a bush, sopping wet, is a very small new baby heifer wobbling towards us in the rain. 

The bad parts of my day begin to wash away as we carry her in a blanket towards the barn, where she will sleep warm and dry. 


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