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 .

Until Australia.

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.

On the second day there,the new bride and her sisters went to town to collect chairs for the reception.As they passed a near-by paddock, they noticed a calf stumbling about.They went back to the farmhouse and gathering recruits,went to fetch the sick calf.He was brown but with white hair on his neck and back and next to him was a brown,apparently healthy calf that was paralyzed in his hind quarters.They scooped them both up and brought them to a pen near the house for treatment.Both little things had paralyzing ticks attached that had to be removed and the weaker one had intestinal problems.They were given shots of anti-venin and antibiotics.Untreated ,all their organs would stop working from the nasty poison of the tick and death would follow.

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.


kris spikes said...

Man. This made me cry. Had I not been at work I would have cried much harder. So, so sad.

sharon graham said...

Thanks for your feedback....she moved me, too....beautiful animal...

Anonymous said...

That narrative really touched my heart. In our 11 yrs. of raising Black Angus cattle we only saw dead calves a few times (praise God) but it was gut wrenching to watch the mothers keep returning to the last place they saw their calves and bellow in grief--until their milk dried up.
There was a dairy down the road that took their calves 'off' the momma cows at 7 days--when the colostrum was about gone. Then they began milking the momma cow again.
We'd go to the dairy, buy a seven-day old calf, and take it back to the grieving momma. At first, the happy calf would get batted away when it tried to nurse its 'new' momma. However, we'd cut some skin from the dead calf and tie it like a collar around the dairy calf's neck. Some blood from the dead calf was spread over the back of the 'new' calf, too. Next time the momma went to bat the calf away she would smell the scent of her real calf and begin a gentle lowing crooning sound. She'd clean and minister to the new calf.
In minutes, the new little dairy calf--although a spotted black and white Holstein looking nothing like it's momma--would be nursing happile. They be a loving pair for the next seven months.

What a beautiful picture of what Gods love is like for us...and how Jesus Blood 'covers' all our sins if we ask Him!

sharon graham said...


Your comment enriches what I wrote and I so appreciate that...
so very glad that you dropped by and please write more...thank you!Sharon