I've been busy being a cattle woman. I found the missing cow. While she was rambling in the brambles finding the perfect place to calve, she got a thorn in her eye. When she reappeared she had a calf and a "stick" hanging out of a messy, runny eye. She wouldn't come anywhere close to the holding pen. No amount of feed, hay, nor bribes would encourage her to bring her calf to the corral.
I called everyone I know for help. One man suggested putting out feed. The next man suggested hay and if that didn't work dart her and do the work in the field. Another cowboy, the one I trusted the most, brought one of his cutting horses, found the cow, and didn't see the thorn. He thought it was out because he was looking at the eye from above. My dad, finally, arrived home and I called him. He sent someone with feed. The cows without calves came, again. The mamas didn't come close, again. We, then, did a most horrendous thing - we stole her baby and took it to the barn. She came and once she was in the barn, dad cornered her with another gate and she let him remove the 4" thorn without any other restraint (I have tame cows). She was relieved. I was relieved. The town, including my dad, was relieved because now I would leave everyone alone for a few minutes.
We now have eleven calves. Ten healthy and one with a hernia that will need medical attention. Dad was able to get that calf and his mama in the barn, too! Tomorrow, I will load and transport them to the vet for the surgery. Then, I will school the children, transport Princess to ballet, and fulfill my work obligations. I am exhausted, completely stressed, and the emergency to do list does not seem to be shrinking. I feel like I could spontaneously ignite.
My Mom came and sprayed some water on the embers today. Though her labor of love was not as spectacular as stealing a baby calf to lure a cow and removing a stick from the eye of the cow, I am lucky to have a mama who can recognize true need and help in a non-obtrusive, non-judgemental manner.