Friday, April 21, 2006

Aloof Mamma

I didn't post yesterday even though one of my goals is to write everyday. I was too busy outside of cyberspace. One of my tasks was weed control. The children and I spent two hours cutting and bagging flower heads from thistle in one of our pastures. This pasture has a huge problem and I am determined not to let my husband spray weed killer. We will be back out there when I finish here and the children get up and finish breakfast. What I really need are a few goats added to my grazing rotation, but I know nothing about goats and haven't had the time to investigate. Where is Doc when you need her?

In this pasture with the thistle we have a cow and less than week old calf. The mother has been so weird and neglectful. The day after the calf was born she left it in the middle of the pasture, in the sun, on a 90+ degree day almost all day while she stood in the shade with the other cows. We kept watching and eventually (calf had been there over 5 hours), my husband was overcome with fear that the calf would dehydrate so picked it up and took it to the momma. The calf nursed frenetically. The cow looked unconcerned.

Yesterday, when we were doing weed control, the calf was, again, lying across the pasture from the cow when the yellow dog found the calf and barked at it, ran around it and otherwise toyed with it. The calf gave a distress call. The cow charged across the pasture in such haste and with such a look of concern that even the ferociously brave yellow dog cowered behind me. I was glad that the cow had an iota motherly instinct, but also thought how there are human mammas who essentially neglect their children but when something bad happens to the children they storm around angry, blaming everyone but themselves, and wanting compensation. Last night, at dark, my husband had to herd the calf into the herd, so, obviously, Aloof Momma has learned nothing.

No comments: