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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Springtime in Texas

There's nothing quite like Spring in Texas. By the first of March, my yard was in bloom. I have an acre of red clover that looks gorgeous--but is going to be hell to mow once the flowers die off. It's already a foot tall. I've seen pairs of bluebirds, robins, and cardinals fighting for nesting places. My pear and plum trees are in full bloom. And we have two new calves.

Okay, one is already three months old. But the newest one was born last Thursday morning. Like her mama, she (I think it's a she, dh says it's a he) has a white heart in the middle of her forehead. She's gorgeous, kind of a fawn color, with long ears and beautiful eyes. All seemed fine the day she was born. She was up walking around, checking out her new surroundings.

We had to work that day and the next. Dh noticed that she didn't come up to the house when her mama came up to be fed Friday morning, but that's not too unusual. Sometimes the mamas will leave their babies hidden in the brush or the barn while they eat. We went on to work, and when we came home we saw the mama standing in the field, the baby at her feet. All seemed fine.

Saturday morning, baby didn't come up again, so dh went looking for her. He found her in the pasture, so weak she couldn't stand and nothing but skin and bones. Evidently she hadn't nursed since that first day. He brought her up to the pen near the house and I took off for the vet's office. From there I went to the feed store to buy penicillin and to the local dairy for some colostrum and fresh cow's milk.

We managed to get one bottle down her Saturday and a half a bottle on Sunday. I got her next to her mama and got as far as showing her where her food was located, but she was still too weak to catch on. She wouldn't take a bottle that night, or the next day. I was pretty sure she was a goner. She was coughing and her nose was running. We had to pick her up to get her on her feet. But she was still alive, and I noticed she didn't look quite so much like death warmed over.

It was funny how her mama knew we were trying to help her baby. She'd hover close, but didn't interfere when we gave the shots and tried to get some milk down the calf. She wouldn't let the dh milk her, but she'd let me try. (I raised that cow on a bottle, too.) The mama would lick my hand as I tried to feed her baby.

We came home last night to find baby Patty (her name until I see proof she's a boy ) kicking up her heels in the pen, trying to run. She hasn't quite figured out how to make her back legs work independently, but she was giving it her best shot. When I stepped into the pen, mama gave me a thank you I'll never forget--she licked me, every place she could reach. I had to take a bath as soon as I left the pen because I was covered in cow spit. But I didn't mind. Just seeing that calf up and playing was worth a thousand cow-tongue lashings.


At 10:10 AM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Hooray for Patty--and hooray for you, Tori, for trying so hard to keep her kickin' up her heels.

What a wonderful story to start my day with. Thank you!

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I'm glad little Patty is doing better. Funny image of the mama licking you silly. :)

At 2:38 PM, Blogger bridget said...

Oh, Tori, how wonderful she's doing better. You deserved a good lickin'. A wonderful story of perserverance (did I spell that right?) paying off.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger Tori Scott said...

Well, looks like Patty is officially Paddy. She is a he, just like the dh said. Why is my husband always right? Just once, I'd like to be the one who's right. :)

Oh well, at least the mama lets me pet her, but not the dh.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

How sweet that the momma is so grateful. (sniff)


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