There were no midwives in attendance, no doctor. Hell, there wasn't even a bed and the twelve year old mother had been given zero pre-natal or ante-natal guidance. No gas and air. No proud father holding her hoof.
I had spent three hours on a circular walk in mid-Derbyshire plodding around and through the village of Crich and was just returning to Clint's resting place when I spotted a calf lying in a field with his doting mother in attendance. "Good photo opportunity", I thought to myself.
And then over to the left of the field, near the boundary wall, I heard another cow. She had a chestnut brown and black brindle appearance and she was squatting down making grumbly lowing sounds. At first I thought she was sitting on something - maybe a rock or a pile of rags. But then she stood up and there was a baby calf protruding from her uterus. No sooner was the cow back on all fours than the calf was born - dropping to the soft grass below.
The doting and protective mother sniffed and licked the new born creature. At first I thought it was stillborn but very soon there was movement - the movement of life. At this point a local woman joined me in the lane and we stood together peering over the hedge at the birth scene.
The mother kept licking with her rough tongue, stimulating the calf to fight for air and life. The woman waved across the field to the old farmer who came sauntering across the grass to check that all was well and I joked with him - "What are you going to call the calf? Buttercup or Daisy?" He chortled, revealing a row of uneven teeth - like neglected gravestones.
I stood in that lane for half an hour. The calf made a few gangly attempts to stand up but kept toppling over. Though I would have liked to stay longer, witnessing the moment when the newborn stood securely on her feet, I left happy in the knowledge that that miracle would certainly happen long before the sun set on that lovely summer's day. It was a good day to be born.
How absolutely wonderful. And by the looks of that cow's udder, the little one won't go hungry.ReplyDelete
A lovely story with equally lovely photos to match. A moment well-worth remembering. It warms one's heart.
There's enough milk in that udder to feed an entire school of children. The farmer thought it was possible that the cow would give birth to a second calf within the following hour or two.Delete
I can believe!! Quite amazing!Delete
A birth is a birth is a birth. How fortunate you were to be there just at the right time to see that little one born of her brindle mama. And now I feel fortunate too- thank you for the pictures. I wonder if there was another one!ReplyDelete
The farmer was well into his seventies and he has been a dairy farmer all his life. I guess if he thinks another one is coming he is probably right. The cow looked big enough for a second. And thank you for reminding me of the word "brindle". I will edit it in.Delete
How wonderful that you chanced on this miracle of life!ReplyDelete
That was the first time in my life that I witnessed the birth of a calf. Magical.Delete
It IS a miracle, no matter what creature is born or cracks open its egg shell. I hope this farmer's calves are allowed to stay with their mother for a while. When I hear of mothers and their little ones being seperated only days or even hours after birth, it breaks my heart.ReplyDelete
For the farmer, his cows are his business and his livelihood. There's little room for sentimentality.Delete
I know that. But the fact alone that the calf was born on soft green grass out on a pasture and not in a darkish, narrow box in a barn makes me think that this farmer treats his animals well.Delete
I agree. Although I only met the man briefly it was clear he had an old-fashioned approach to cattle and cared for his animals.Delete
It's not called "the miracle of birth" for nothing! How lucky to witness this, YP.ReplyDelete
As I am not a farmer, I think this was a "once in a lifetime" experience.Delete
What a lovely scene to witness.ReplyDelete
It was a nativity scene...but without an angel or three kings from the east.Delete
Wow -- what a thing to witness! Reminds me of a scene out of James Herriot -- although I guess he'd only have been on hand if a problem arose.ReplyDelete
I have walked by so many cows but never this before. Once in a lifetime.Delete
You made me cry!ReplyDelete
You are a softie Kylie!Delete
The birth of anew calf is a moving event to watch.ReplyDelete
It sounds like you have witnessed the birth of calves yourself Red.Delete
nawww what a lovely moment.ReplyDelete
Not nawww Amy but mooooooo!Delete