Thursday, April 22, 2010

Outside My Window

My desk in my home office faces the pasture belonging to a cattle rancher.  In the four years since we moved from California, I've enjoyed watching the new calves' arrive every Spring.  I try hard not to think that these adorable creatures may some day end up as a meal somewhere and keep telling my husband I'm most likely going to end up becoming a vegetarian any day now.  Thank goodness they don't raise chickens, or my protein intake would be next to nothing.

When they're first born, the calves mostly tend to lie on the ground, while the rest of the herd spend their time either grazing or just roaming through the tall emerald grasses.  In the past years, I've watched to see if these little dark "lumps" moved, afraid that they wouldn't make it.  I was always relieved when I'd see a head pop up and the little guys get up on their spindly legs and make their way to the barn.

Today, one little guy was especially close to the fence and consequently my window.  He didn't move much during the day.  As evening approached, I told my husband I was afraid he might be dead.  But then, I saw his head pop up.  Yet still he didn't get up and join the others, who by now had moved to the far end of the pasture back by the barn.  My husband called the rancher to tell him one of the calves didn't look like he would make it back to the barn tonight.  The farmer told him that there was a set of twins born and they are usually weaker.  The rancher would have to wait to let nature take it's course.

Meanwhile, I watced this little guy all alone as the rest of the herd was beyond his reach and ostensibly ignoring him.  Then all of a sudden one sole cow came marching from a distance toward the little calf.  She called to him as she got closer.  When she got up to him, she stroked him with her tongue and he finally stood and began to nurse.  They stood there together for at least fifteen minutes before he lay down again, and I was he was down for the night.  But slowly he rose and rejoined his mother again.

The two of them are walking together now.  Mother and child.  A beautiful sight...outside my window.

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