Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mother love

As you can see, on this misty evening walking the dogs along the pathways in my pasture, this cow was curious and stopped to watch.

She is one of a herd owned by my young farmer neighbour. It's a cow-calf operation and the young male calves are shipped off once they are weaned. The females sometimes are kept to add to the herd. They are managed in a very natural way, the old fashioned way some would say. On the grass and outside as much as possible, living a natural and healthy cow life. I respect my young neighbour for his efforts to live on a small family farm, operating it much the way his father did for so many years, and the way his uncle continues to manage his farm along the road a piece.

This particular moment for me was special when all the youngsters were hanging about together, except for this one who seems to adore its mother, staying with her and not moving along the prescribed path the herd takes each day.

While I watched the cow gradually became bored looking at us and turned to her calf who was butting her and nuzzling her neck. She began the steady slow process that many nurturing animals do - licking the calf from tip to tail.

It was a precious moment to watch the two bonded so closely, enjoying each other. That will end in a while, the little fellow will gradually pull away from his mother as he is weaned. He will join the other calves butting and playing and then get down to the serious business of eating and growing.

However Ii was left with a special moment. Something to savour through long winter months or times when things aren't quite as wonderful as I'd like them to be.

Aren't we lucky to have them - special moments to remember?

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