And I don't mean a round of applause.
There’s an old lady who lives on the sharp turn next to the sheep land on the county road we use to get to the Mansion. Farmer H knew her husband years ago. He has fallen on ill health, and it not quite mentally up to snuff. We used to see him and his wife working the cattle, moving them from the field next to their house to the field across the road where they cut hay. Now it’s just her. Sometimes I see one of their sons helping out, but they must not live nearby.
The cows get out several times a year. Once time all 20 or 30 of them took a trip a half mile down the blacktop and across the low water bridge. It’s not hard to get them back. All you need is a pickup truck with some hay in the back, or a person riding along on the tailgate holding a handful out to the lead cow. The rest will follow. But it takes more than one person in order to warn traffic.
Every now and then, a single cow escapes. Then it wonders how to get back in. Idles in the middle of the blacktop while ruminating, after finding out the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. The #1 son has stopped to help the old lady put a cow back in.
Last Thursday, The Pony and I saw the old lady at dusk, on our way home from visiting Mom. The old lady had her truck parked in the road. No shoulder. She had no choice. And there she was, on the other side of the road, trying to climb through the barbed wire fence. No cow was out. The cow was in. Standing by a tree in the near-dark, with drizzle sifting down, the temps dropping into the 30s. Beside the brown cow was a white calf. Newborn. And behind it, another white calf. Also newborn. TWINS! Twin calves! That doesn’t happen very often. I guess the old lady had been checking on that cow to see when she birthed her baby, and found TWO.
I don’t know how she did it, but those two calves are thriving. They’re healthy as two horses. We saw them again yesterday. Robust and sturdy.
Life must be hard for that old lady. But now she has twins. I imagine that brought her joy.