To be rejected, discovered, and mis-identified all in one day, is more than just any ol’ calf should be expected to tolerate. But, like they say, “don’t look a gift horse (calf) in the mouth…”
Unfortunately, the mouth of a neglected calf was that of greatest concern – even more than that of determining sex and other pertinent data of a day old calf. There it laid, no mama, no milk, and no one to even claim it. You see, the cows had all been rounded up and trucked off to their winter home. The summer pasture lay vacant — grazed to the depths of blending with all the beautiful fall colors. There was a cool, brisk evening breeze, and with the gates hanging wide open, what’s to stop the free spirit of a four-wheelin’ ride?
This was a ride they had been looking forward to all summer, with nothing to stop them but a fence between them and the cows. It was full throttle when they hit the gate hole down the ravines, up the hills, and flying over that little narrow creek bed. It was so much fun, but suddenly — what could that be that they almost ran over?
With a closer look, there was no question about it — it was a new-born calf, just laying there scared and almost motionless. Obviously, it had been left behind when the cattle had been rounded up, and like accidents of nature, it had not been expected or accounted for. As they (Randy, Pam, and Breanna) carefully loaded the calf on the back of the four-wheeler, they were soon to give something so strong an appropriate boys name — D. J.
D.J. was soon to find out that losing Mama may have been dramatic but the nurturing care of a hand-held bottle miraculously changed that of being ‘orphaned’ to that of being ‘special’.
The benefits of country living – like that of the four-wheeler ride – are of unmeasurable intrinsic value – but the bonus gift of that baby calf can be measured beyond that of even collateral value. This was the uncle (Rodney), of my son-in-law (Randy), who had left the calf behind. The calf was now a token of love and appreciation to be treasured as one more gesture of family give and take.
Though it wasn’t meant to be — he was a she. As Randy put his surgical team of assistants together, with elastrator in hand – there, to his shock and awe — were parts missing. How could this possibly be? Parts missing was a familiar encounter in his vocation, but a tool such as an elastrator was a pretty foreign piece of equipment. But he was familiar enough to know that he and his buddies had just been embarrassed.
Missing parts just took new meaning, understanding and gratefulness for the significance of an event for which there had to have been another hand – as expressed in Samuel 16:2:
Take a heifer with you, and say I have come to sacrifice to the lord.
“PONY TALES by” Ponty is written by Ken E. Knight, the author of the “Knightro Report”, a nationally syndicated livestock-marketing column, which is featured in the “Farm And Livestock Directory” every month.