kine

kine

 

kine

‘kīn
archaic plural of cow

 

Darkness had fallen on the feedlot and in the barns and on a normal evening we would have been up at the house settling in for the night. Preparation for the morning milking began at 4:30 AM so bedtime was always early.

This night found us in one of the barns with a makeshift light as we attempted to assist one of our cows to give birth. It was a process we rarely interfered with, but she was having difficulty. With the hind legs fully out it was too late for intervention even from a Veterinarian.

She was worn out from pushing and laid down on her side giving over to our care completely. We could see the mixture of fear and trust in her huge eyes as she strained, watching our every move.

As we coaxed and soothed her we waited for the contractions and we’d each carefully, but with as much strength as possible pull on the kicking hind legs of the calf as it struggled for freedom. “Oh, it’s alive! Come on baby, you can do it!”

Finally, one last push and the body slivered out onto the straw. It was a perfect, beautiful bull calf and he was dead.

The new mother immediately rose to her feet and as she cleaned and nudged him in a useless effort to get him on his feet I stood watching as tears streamed down my cheeks. After about twenty minutes John had to remove the calf and she fought him as he slipped through the door with her baby.

Back at the house in the stillness of the night as we laid in our bed exhausted from the day and the emotion of the last few hours I could hear her bawling. Such a mournful cry and it persisted until hoarseness set in. Nothing could be done. Nine months to bring a calf into the world and just one push too late to survive.

 

 

(filed under sagegrass because i said that)

 

 

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.
— Martin Buber said that

23 Comments

a penny for your thoughts?

Martine Girardreply
September 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Superbe ciel très photogénique.

Elaine Hancockreply
September 21, 2018 at 7:38 pm

A beautiful pastoral image. I love that big sky. You are a talented writer. I admire that.

Michael Rawlukreply
September 21, 2018 at 8:01 pm

That is so beautiful. An idyllic scene.

Harryreply
September 21, 2018 at 10:58 pm

In traditional agriculture, the farmer (and his family) profited from the stock, but also cared for them in a personal way. I have often admired the 4-H youngster who raises his/her calf or lamb or piglet, grooming it to the highest degree of perfection possible, competing for that blue ribbon at the state fair, then dispatching it to the slaughter, because that is the way of the farm. Sadly, today’s factory farms treat livestock with the same regard as ears of corn: indistinguishable units of product.

Your story touched my emotions. Thank you.

Bill Phillipsreply
September 22, 2018 at 2:19 am

A sad story of the struggle for life and also how hard life is for farmers.

grouserreply
September 22, 2018 at 4:40 am

lovely big sky shot and a good back story to go with it

Martine Liboutonreply
September 22, 2018 at 5:00 am

Une sublime photo J’adore les nuages dans le ciel

Nicoureply
September 22, 2018 at 10:00 am

Ce silo quie ressort avec les arbres et toutes les vaches quelle immensité et vue superbe
Belle soirée

ruthiebearreply
September 22, 2018 at 10:10 am

YOur words were powerful and touched my soul. The photo fades in the comparison.

….peter:)reply
September 22, 2018 at 10:33 am

this is a nice landscape Sherri… with a wonderful big cloudy sky….peter:)

Barbara Thomasreply
September 22, 2018 at 11:02 am

Such a sad story. I know it’s part of life, but still sad to lose a calf.

mhelenereply
September 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Splendid panorama with superb tones . Thank you so much for all your comments . As soon as I can I’ll be back to look at your photos .

Willemreply
September 22, 2018 at 1:28 pm

A beautiful picture of this farm with the cows on the lawn, also a fine position of the horizon.
I like the interesting info/words.

tatar@yreply
September 22, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Belle image bucolique ….. Admirable.

Tom Wilsonreply
September 22, 2018 at 2:43 pm

The big country!

Elizabeth Buckalewreply
September 23, 2018 at 1:44 pm

A lovely image to go with this very sad story. Your writing tugged at my heart strings… animals have feelings – and they clearly feel the same distress over losing a “child” as humans do, though we’ll never know to what extent they understand it.

Ginniereply
September 24, 2018 at 12:32 am

What a heart-wrenching story, Sherri. That kind of memory stays with you forever, I know. In the meantime, your expansive image is a testament to how Life seems to thrive, no matter what!

Annereply
September 24, 2018 at 8:25 am

I love that big sky over the cattle field.

Ayush Basureply
September 24, 2018 at 8:34 am

that is an excellent image, Sherri, although it had a sad end to that anecdote.

Stevenreply
September 24, 2018 at 9:23 pm

What a tragic recount to a cow that tried to provide life.
The sky in this shot is so full of dynamics here! The clouds just dwarf everything below.

Kikireply
September 25, 2018 at 12:33 pm

What a contrast between the peace that reigns in the image and this very sad story!

Dianereply
October 1, 2018 at 1:58 pm

so much broiling in my mind over this. First, a great photo all on its own. Second, I never knew that word or its meaning.
And finally, your words. Sad, yes. I wonder why not leave the calf with her for a while. That is what we have done, even for a few hours. It’s sad for her isn’t it?

Elaine Kreply
October 22, 2018 at 3:52 am

oh my God, now i know why i missed this post, i wasn’t meant to read that much sadness….

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