Monday, 4 August 2008
I took this happy snapshot last night of the cows outside our front door grazing in the sunset.
This morning as I took the feed to the pigs I could see the black cow stood over an ominous looking lump in the grass. She was bellowing and in distress. I couldnt see clearly but it looked like she was standing guard over a dead calf. The bellowing continued, a short sharp urgent sound. She stopped when she saw me and for a while we watched each other until sensing I was no help she began her lament once more. The field contains a very large bull who can cover the ground a lot quicker than I can so tempted as I to go to her I resisted, instead I phoned The Oracle who knew who the cow belonged to. Help was on its way.
The cow circled the dead calf urging it to get up and she began to call softly encouraging it to follow her. She got further and further away, all the while calling whilst eating, occasionally charging back to scare a crow away.
The farmer duly turned up and drove his four by four over to the corpse. On seeing this she galloped over to its defence and watched as the man struggled to lift the body into the back of the pick up. I watched from a distance eager to help but having only one servicable arm I would have been more of a hinderance. Exhausted he gave up and attached a rope to the calfs front legs and using the towbar dragged the poor dead beast towards the gate and his farm. Seeing the calf suddenly moving confused the cow and she ran excitedly after it, trying to lick it clean when they stopped at the gate.
She followed and I watched as this sad procession went across the fields and out of sight.
As I fed the pigs this evening she is back, at least I think its her as there was a black cow stood over the spot where the calf died mooing softly, and as I type this I can still see her nosing the spot on the ground where she lost her offspring.