Do not call me today because I spent the night holding tight to a dying calf and trying to make it live. I rubbed, talked to it like a devoted friend, tubed it with all the stuff the vet told me to use, begged it to just take another breath, and you have guessed the ending to this story! Yep, the ungrateful calf died anyway! The cow had already expired and we were all exhausted by daylight.
The romantic life of the cowboy looks and sounds good when you are listening to the songs that were sung around the campfires but it ain't all sunshine and hot coffee! Of course, we have left the life of the cowboys far behind and, for that, we better be grateful because it really wasn't so wonderful. How in the world would the unwashed, unshaven and uneducated gunslingers of the era be called romantic? Let us move on!
The cow I spoke of was one of the family of our breeding and we finally called the vet when we couldn't get the feet turned and he came out to help. He arrived ready to do his magic and even he could not get the big calf turned. He finally said we had to C-section and so we did what we could to help.
The calf was big, 101 pounds, and turned north so there was just no room to turn it. The cow expired before she was stitched back together. Doc said her heart just gave out and I believe it would after such an ordeal. We were thinking we could save the calf, it was breathing, and Doc thought we might, so we tried.
I got a couple of hours of sleep and the offspring shared the work this morning. I checked steers and heifers and hope I counted correctly. Stopped at the feed store for a sack of chicken feed and didn't sit around and visit. The crowd was small, just Todd and George holding down the fort and they were not even talking, just sitting on sacks!
We got supper over and were reading the paper when the youngest offspring called to ask for help starting the old truck he drives. He needed my truck for battery charging and I was tempted to tell him that his mother would be there in a few minutes! Yes, tempted in a big way, wanting to but smart enough to just agree and say I'd be right there!
It is my opinion, and everyone has one, our way of life is the best! We love what we do, enjoy working with animals and are blessed to work with our offspring. What could ever be better? This evening I was thinking a job you start at 9 and end at 5 might be just dandy!
I hope you all are teaching youngsters how to handle firearms, and "Remember the Alamo!"
Bill is the pen name used by the Gravette-area author of this weekly column.