Last evening while on his way home from work, my husband noticed that one of our neighbor's cows was ready to give birth. She was just a quarter of a mile down the road in the dusk-filled meadow, so we hopped in the pick-up to watch a new life come into the world.
She was lying by the fence row, but wandered out farther into the pasture when she saw us approach. We watched for awhile as she meandered about. She seemed peaceful and in control, so much so that we wondered if she'd already had her calf.
Then suddenly she laid down and we knew her time had come. Within minutes she was back on her feet with her new baby lying in the soft spring grass. It seemed fast and effortless, and though a commonplace occurrence on a farm, still a miracle of life.
The natural maternal instincts of animals always amazes me. They know just what to do for their babies to survive and thrive. They are protective yet strong and from the beginning, teach their young how to get along in the world.
Within minutes she was encouraging the calf to his feet, knowing that he couldn't simply lie in the pasture where he'd be prey to bobcats and coyotes. He slipped and stumbled more than once in getting his footing, and I was tempted to climb the fence and help them both.
But finally he was standing; four shaky legs unfolded from his gestational sleep, holding him up in the new world of breezes and sunlight and sounds.
Babies are sweet, no matter what form they take and it was a treat to observe this new life out in the pasture. Soon I'll see him prancing around the tall grasses, sniffing the air and making friends with the little calves that came before him.
Life in the country at its best.