one sunny morning last week, see what I found?
I’m feeling super-sorry for myself. It’s okay, I gave myself permission. I’m going to make a full evening of it, and maybe even eat a big bowl of ice cream in bed. You know, to make myself feel better.
Why’s that? You’ll have to ask Zay. It’s all her fault.
She’s been waiting, waiting and waiting some more for her calf to be born. Zay’s a funny cow when it comes to babies. Until hers is born, she lurks and trolls around the other mothers’ calves, even going so far as stealing and hiding one last year.
Waiting, waiting & waiting some more…
Then, once Zay has her own, she’s fine. She’s an excellent mother, but is very private about her top-secret parenting business. Oddly, this year, Zay’s baby was over a month later than the others.
Zay laid off the trolling and kidnapping this season, opting instead for being alone, moody and pensive. She spent lots of time laying her bulky self down and gazing off into the distance. She kept getting bigger and bigger, but that baby just didn’t want to come.
Finally, early one sunny morning, I found him in the tall grass, fed, bathed and curled up beside his mother for his first newborn nap.
Zay, like the good mother she is, nested in a private corner of the pasture with the little one for several days. Ever dutiful, she left him only briefly now and then for a quick drink of water.
Gradually, she rejoined the herd, but as cows sometimes do, Zay tucked the baby into a hidey-hole so she could visit with her friends and do her work alone. Then, when she’s done, Zay goes back and spends the evening with her baby.
I was a tiny bit worried last night when I didn’t see the baby, but Zay was completely unconcerned. Zay and I have been through this together a few times now, and I know she’s on top of things. If there was a mishap, surely she would be fretting.
But Zay seemed to be a cow without a care in the world. Or a baby either. If it wasn’t for her ginormous udder, I’d think she was a single girl. The udder is an important clue: if Zay’s udder was empty, I’d know that even though I couldn’t see the calf, he had eaten. But this was one huge, ready-to-burst udder.
When was the last time the baby drank? Come on Zay, I need some clues here!
But, as usual, Zay ignored me. She paid no attention as I walked up and down the pasture, crawled under fences and pawed the tall grass. She was unconcerned when I got out the tractor and drove up and down. She enjoyed a leisurely drink and had dinner with her friends.
I was getting discouraged. Disheartened. Sad. I was blaming myself for being too busy, and for trusting Zay’s mothering ability. I looked for signs of struggle, circling vultures or other markers of doom. But there were none of those either.
Parked inside the pasture on my tractor, I was starting to take it hard. And then, guess what happened next?
Suddenly and with purpose, Zay left the herd and walked off to the spot I had combed first on foot, then by tractor just an hour before. She called a few times, and up he popped! He was waiting, not for my noisy self, but for his mother’s call.
Zay doesn’t get what all the fuss is about. She had important cow business – geez!
Peppy & perky, he bounced up ready for a big supper. I don’t think I have ever been so grateful to see anything, ever. Luckily this tale has a happy ending. Not only did Zaymonster giveth, then taketh back, she gave him to us once again. Whew!
Am I supposed to find some deep hidden lesson here?
Don’t know, but I surely am grateful. I’ll never doubt you again Zay.