“I just have to have some help.”
That was the urgent holler as the back door swung open with additional pressure from shrill winter wind as the cow manager burst inside from a nighttime check of first calf heifers.
Knowing enough not to comment, we scowled as the third grade grandson who was spending the night, went past us, winter coat in hand to bundle up and help.
Obviously begrudgingly, we followed in tow, changing pajamas and robe into three layers of chore clothes. We were outside before the second request could be aired.
With short order, the threesome had a rambunctious bovine girl in the overflowing barn where eight stalls now housed ten cows and eight calves.
“That wasn’t very hard,” the grandson evaluated. No, it wasn’t with three instead of just one.
But, not in the most grandmotherly tone, the cow woman shot right back: “I’d been around that pen two dozen times, before you guys got here.”
Bodies certainly make a difference when handling livestock. Every spring gather, we’re embarrassed at the large cowboy crew the organizer compiles to get 300 cows with calves into a sorting corral.
Yet, for several years now, the task has been completed in just minutes without a hitch. When we were ramrod, and expected the home crew of four to do the whole job, it always required hours, and there were still critters hidden behind the trees.
While we certainly don’t like to get up in the middle of the night to assist nature, despite the miracle that birthing is, we sometimes must help out anyway.
Another cowboy, with even more years than we have, commented, “It’s sure a lot harder to get up three times during the night checking those heifers than it used to be. When I get up to chore in the morning, I think it’s time for bed.
Consensus of us old timers: “Those cameras that can be installed to check the birthing facilities from inside the warm home sure don’t sound too expensive.”
Help is essential when handling livestock and in all of life’s endeavors.
Reminds us of Deuteronomy 22:4: If you see that your neighbor’s ox has collapsed on the road, do not look the other way. Go and help your neighbor get it back on its feet.