Monday, August 24, 2015

Within an Inch of Her Life:Part 2

     Last week I described to you how wonderful Wednesday ended for me, let's go right into Thursday.

     Another day of mowing grass and chomping up weeds.  Two sections of pasture were left before I could move to the West side of the acreage.  

     Yellow rays of sunshine were cascading down upon our farm this morning.  My first and immediate task was to locate the calves born the day before.  Summoning my amateur calf bawl, Cows 131 and 149 came running, right to calf 149.  

     Standing twenty feet from the calf and assessing that they were both calm and the calf was lazily climbing to his feet, I pulled the truck beside him and put a tag in it's right ear.

     Texting a photo to my husband with the words, safely and efficiently, he responded with, "How did I know?"  Without saying it he warned me to be careful and that I knew what he meant before leaving for work that morning.  Cow 149 was taking extreme security measures the evening before which did not allow my husband to tag her calf.  I didn't want to pass up an easy opportunity and I just love that I can accomplish it.

     Driving around the field, bawling, I could not summon Cow 131 to show me where she hid her baby girl.  Beginning with the section farthest from Calf 149, I began cutting grass.  Finishing I moved to that patch, again calling to Cow 131 and she will not give up her location. 

     Sighing, I cut the entire rectangle gritting my teeth, my body so tense that my shoulders were up to my ears and my eyes darting right and left constantly.  Assuming she hid her somewhere in the grass that I had cut the day before and I'm not able to see her, I move on. 

     Driving into the hay lot, I decide to clip the little bit of grass that
has grown up through the chat rock before moving onto the West ninety acres.  Unable to recall if there are any large rocks in there, I raise the mower deck a bit to be cautious.  

     I could only drive forward and back up to each fence line instead of turning around due to space.  Backing up for the last eight feet stretch, I shifted into forward, let the clutch out and hear the dreaded sound.

     For the second day in a row, I hit the PTO with my fist as I braked, idled down and threw the tractor into neutral with a plethora of emotions swarming over me.  I'm not sure how I exited the cab so quickly or how I did not stumble as I shuffled to the rear of the mower.  As I neared the fence, I saw her. 

     No. No, no, no, no, no.

     Her eyes tell me she has passed, but she looks perfect.  I instinctively reach out and her black hair is hot from the sun and her heart is beating ferociously against my palm.  I hope against the odds as a mere thirty seconds pass by as her heart slows to nothing.

     Looking her over, I find only a quarter size, "nick" on the back of her head.  As I pulled the mower forward, she had raised her head from her slumber.

     I'm sick with despair.  I took the very life that I had worked so hard to save the day before.  Sitting on the tire of the mower, my heart feels like there is an anchor tied to it.  This is not the first farm animal tragedy, but it is the first dealt by my hand.  It is not just the unnecessary life taken, but each farmer understands that a dead calf does not pay the bank note. 

Image result for eye roll emoji     There is nothing left that I can do.  I tell her and her Momma, "Sorry bout that."  and climb pathetically into my tractor seat. 

Image result for head in hands crying emoji I was on a nineties music kick that day, my mouth fell open as my ears pick up on Ozzy Osbourne's voice singing these words, 

 "These are your final days.  See you on the other side."


 Shit. You. Not. 
 Image result for salt in wound clip artImage result for salt in wound clip art

   Ozzy's Song