Tuesday, December 4, 2012
a good cow
In the past,I have seen horses running in their paddocks.Sometimes, a foal will gambol about ,racing here and there with spring fever but cows don't seem to move much.When I see them,they are usually still;chomping,munching and then maybe shuffling forward.A herd always seems to be facing the same direction,I don't know why.Occasionally,I will hear one bellow from across the river where there is a small farm.That's all I know about cows .
We stayed at a thousand acre farm at Carrabolla ,four hours North of Sydney for a week.The owner and worker of this farm is my son's new father-in-law.It is a beautiful place and is theirs for as far as the eye sees.A river runs through it and the mountains hold it.It is so far from the city that at night the stars are multitudinous and close.
Two days later, the brown calf was up and bellowing and we took him in the truck to find his mother.As we went up the road ,a huge cow came racing down the hill towards us.She knew the truck had taken her calf and hoped to see him in the back.We drove past her ,around the bend and up another hill,where my son-in-law released the healthy cow who ambled over to the staring herd and found his mother.Out of the corner of my eye,I saw something charging down the hill from the road,past a stand of trees and up the hill to where we were.Charging, with eyes blazing and focused on the truck,hoping.The other mother.
The farmer said how good a mother this cow was as many pay little attention to their calves and if lost, seem not to care.There she stood in front of us,staring,waiting.We drove off ,cheered by the first rescue.On the way back to the house,we mused how in two days perhaps we could do the same thing and we vowed to cheer the second mother as she took back her baby.
It was not to be.Two days later,the farmer took the dead calf back to the paddock,laid it in the grass hoping the mother would find it,stop looking for it and start her grieving.Those were his words.
The last time I saw the herd they were headed up a ridge;twenty or so brown cows ,most with a calf following, and the last cow,the good mother.An image that I carry.