Two days before Easter, I found myself crouched down in a make shift pen beside a very pregnant and very sick Jersey cow.
“Your too late,” my brother had told me. Another momma cow had given birth the night before to a bull calf. They were both healthy and well in a birthing pen on the other side of the barn. But this Jersey cow had laid down a few weeks ago and despite the advice of the vet and the medications to keep her from getting pneumonia, I could hear the gurgle in her breath.
I can’t say I blame her. Had I gotten that big, I think I’d lay down too and get so heavy I couldn’t stand up on my own. Of course, over the stretch of weeks my brother had lifted her to her feet, but she refused to stand.
Now, on what many people call “Good Friday” I ran my hand down over this cow’s cheek and messaged one of her ears.
Easter is a story of life. It’s the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection. Yet, many of us forget it all started with his death.
As I moved closer to this momma cow, I ran my hand down her neck and pressed my hand into her bulging stomach. It pressed back. There was a little life inside this Jersey cow waiting to enter this world. What would happen if this momma died before her baby was born?
So I asked her, “For the sake of the life inside you, please let him live before you die.”
I guess it’s pretty silly talking to cows. No more sillier then a horse whisperer talking to a horse. If they can whisper to horses, I can talk to cows.
Whether it was the words I’d spoken to her, or the fact the next morning marked this calf’s due date, I’ll never know. What I do know is when I heard the alarm and the coffee pot perk in the morning I was ready to stay in bed. Then I changed my mind. Not living as close to the farm anymore, I knew my opportunity to go back down the farm may not come later that day and so I hauled my butt out of bed and jumped in the truck with my dad to go down to the farm.
It was one of the coldest days’ we’ve had since the last snow.
Before I even got into the door of the milk house, my brother was there. “You’ll need to grab some gloves and go deliver a calf. That is unless you want to milk the cows while I do it.”
I grabbed some gloves.
Her water had broken and tiny hooves were pressing out. Momma cow was trying, but she needed a little help.
I won’t go into the birthing details, as I know some of you are a little faint of heart. I don’t blame you. There are some things that gross me out, too.
So here he is.
I didn’t know it would be a “him” until after he was born.
For now, all that matters is that he lives.
To be continued…