The country life creates one of the best environments to experience the entire cycle of life. The following story recounts a little girl’s (my friend Debbie O’D) remembrance of watching the birth of a calf. Being a “City Girl,” I have few memories of anything relating to the farm or country life. The exception involved a trip to a dairy that I will never forget… It began with the l-o-n-g drive out to the dairy farm, which was probably no more than about a 20 minute drive, but when you are 6 or 7 years old and used to everything being “city distance” it may as well have taken half the day! The first thing I noticed was the ODOR that was coming from the rolled down window in the back seat of our station wagon…yes… the one with the fake wood paneling on the side. Was there any other model in the 70s? My city nose detected a somewhat pungent smell coming from the distance. “What is that?” I asked my dad. “Honey, that’s what they call ‘fresh air from the farm,’” he said with a grin. “Yuck” I replied with my nosed plugged. Once we arrived on the dairy, I soon forgot all about the ODOR as I was greeted by several goats and sheep from the nearby field. We were directed, by a man in overalls (really) to a pen that was filled with baby goats, pigs and sheep. I was amazed at how cute these little ones were! They were all around me and I soon discovered that they took such a liking to me because I was wearing flowered jeans that the animals were mistaking for their morning snack! My heart began to beat a little faster as I was nibbled, tugged and jerked around by these seemingly innocent babies! I thought, “Get me out of here before I end up in my underwear!” The farmer came over with a chuckle and rescued me from the mob of babies, saying it must be time for their lunch. I was not amused.
With the goat incident behind me, we walked over to the actual dairy where they were milking cows. We were given a “Dairy 101” lesson and learned that our milk didn’t just come from the carton at the grocery store. I was of course, worried about the big dangly things under the cow becoming sore from all that pulling and squeezing…ouch! In the midst of our tour, one of the farm hands came running into the barn yelling, “she’s ready, come quickly!” Thinking something was wrong I clung to my dad’s hand and followed the rush of people over to a stall that had a FAT cow in it. I soon learned that this cow wasn’t FAT at all, but was going to have a baby!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes. What timing! We stood there and watched as this bovine mama gave birth to a wet, gangly, little calf. They had to assist her with the birth…but not so much that it ruined the experience. The little calf struggled to its feet just minutes after it was born! I was in such awe of how this little thing could find its mama and begin the nursing process without directions from anyone! Of course I again was concerned about the dangly things getting sore from all the suckling that the little calf was doing. Needless to say, I will never forget the dairy and the birth of that precious calf. I may not have that many memories of farm life, but the ones I do are priceless!
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