Nature always calls at the most inopportune time.
“A heifer just had a calf,” the cow-manager hollered as we were pulling up covers for a good night’s rest.
Grumpily, but without a word, we tugged our chore-clothes on, and stumbled through the dark frozen clods, dreading thought of carrying that wet, slimy newborn into the barn. Even though first-calves out of heifers usually aren’t as heavy as progeny from old cows, they stretch our capabilities.
While it might seem strange to onlookers, we have generally strung them over our shoulders like a backpack. That is the easiest way, except for the increased chance of being kicked in the face by the squirming little-bovine.
On occasions, we’ve used wagons to haul calves to the barn, but the tire is flat, and it wouldn’t work in icy gumbo anyway.
Of course, throwing a calf in front of the saddle on his horse is the way any real cowboy would bring the “doggie” into the barnyard, and we’ve done that a number of times, too, when out in the pasture.
This time, no horse was saddled, but relief for our back, body, and mind came when the cow-manager suggested using her 4-wheeler to cart the critter inside.
Although we’d never admit giving credit to those machines for any benefit to the ranch, it actually worked quite handily.
The baby was lifted in behind the driver’s seat, and we walked after, holding him in position for the quarter-block ride to the warm stall.
Momma heifer was still with the rest of the herd, in all the confusion having no clue what was happening, so she had to be guided to her offspring as well.
“She’s right along the fence,” was the demanding order from the cow-manager, quickly dismounting the roaring cart, as we attempted to foot-drive the bewildered heifer down the lane.
Of course, there were 38 others along the fence, too, and they were all black and looked the same to us. But, eventually the right girl found her way where she needed to be for taking care of dutiful maternal matters.
Reminds us of Ezekiel 24:24: “And when the call comes, you shall know, understand, and realize who calls forth loyalty and obedient service.” Certainly, Romans 16:2: “Help in whatever matter she may require assistance from you.”