Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Elvis has left the Pasture

Yesterday evening was beautiful. The air was still with just enough warmth but just enough coolness to be incredibly perfect. The sky was overcast with smooth, grey clouds. The butterflies were floating around the green pasture and the entire world felt at peace. A perfect evening to go catch tadpoles.
As the kids and I were trapsing down to the pond with our tadpole-catching gear, I glanced over at the big cedar tree growing by the fence line between our two pastures. There, under the tree, all by herself, was little Elvis standing in the thick ferns. I thought it was a little odd that she was alone as she usually stays with the other cows and had lately been very busy helping Shirley keep Ivan (yes, still terrible!) in line. I wondered if maybe Elvis was beginning to labor. She has been reallllllly fat for the last little bit and has been "bagging up". I looked around but there was no sign of a calf so I went on down to the pond with the kids and proceded to terrorize all the little frogs living there.
This morning after I dropped the kids at school I came home and pulled the ol' muck boots on to take a little walk down the pasture--fully expecting to find Elvis under the cedar tree with a calf. I arrived at the cedar tree but found no Elvis. The other four cows were out lazing around the pasture but Elvis was not with them. I walked up and down both pastures but could not find Elvis.
I spent the rest of the morning on the four-wheeler going around all the neighboring pastures, looking under all the trees and in all the shrubs but could not find her. In the early afternoon I took one last pass along our fence line by the woods and noticed a post where the wire had been broken down. It was very obvious a cow had gone over the fence in this spot.
With it being turkey season I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of running around in the woods but I needed to find Elvis. She is two years old but still pretty small and this is her first calf--I was afraid she might have some trouble with her delivery. I ventured over the fence--making pleanty of noise so the turkeys wouldn't shoot me--and worked my way through the thick underbrush and thorns. After searching for a while I saw a white belt off in the distance. Then I noticed the little black fluff standing by her side. I was glad to see Elvis standing and a strong, healthy calf with her.
It was time for me to be at the school to pick up the kids so I carefully backed away not wanting to disturb the new mama. When we got home the boys went with me and we walked through the woods to find Elvis. With patience and time we got Elvis back up to the place where she had crossed the fence. She jumped back over but her calf couldn't get through. Joe carefully worked his way up, trying to not scare the baby away--and not scare the new mama who would stomp him into the ground if he made one wrong move--and stood on the fencing wire so the calf could hop across. By late evening we had Elivs and her little calf safely back in our pasture and headed off to introduce the little one to the rest of the herd.
Ivan immediately took notice of the new baby and ran to check it out, much to Elvis' chagrin. Elvis butted Ivan away but he was not to be detered. He butted right back. Elvis and Ivan locked into a head-butting battle and Ivan jumped and bounced trying to find away around Elvis to get to the baby. Elvis is a smart mom, seems she doesn't want Ivan's terrible influence around her sweet little baby. The calf stick close to Elvis, follows her closely and immediately responds to her call. She is a sweet little thing. I'm with Elvis, I don't Ivan to influence the new calf either!

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