Hide and Seek has been a popular kid’s game, probably since the beginning of time.  I loved playing it as a kid, and with my kids when they were younger.  Now that I have a grandchild, I will probably find myself playing it again, and thoroughly enjoying myself.  HOWEVER….

I am not real fond of playing this game with my cows.  Since we both had to be at work today, our neighbor, George, has been keeping an eye on the girls for us.  Around one o’clock today, he came to the pit with the news.  Miss Ruth decided that she would have her calf today, and after nursing, she promptly hid it, in anticipation of our arrival.  She knew we would head straight for it and want to love it and check it over.  Apparently, she thought she could do the job just fine by herself.  It might be her first calf, but still.  It was hers.  Not ours.

Of course, as soon as I got home, unloaded my car and allowed the dogs to go outside and run around for a bit, I headed out to the pasture to find the calf.  I saw Miss Ruth, calmly munching grass along the back fence, but no calf.  A scan of the pasture didn’t show any red lumps.  Just great.  I would have to hike the pasture in a grid, moving slowly and slapping at the horseflies.  With 90 degree weather, no cloud cover and humidity thick enough to build a door in, sweat was pouring off my body and dripping into my eyes.


This time, I got lucky, and only had to search for around 10 minutes.  I was also very unlucky, as the calf was taking a nap – behind the electric fence.  As I gazed on the little baby for the first time, my mouth dropped open.  I do believe this is the biggest calf we have had.  I mean, it looked like it was already two weeks old!  Wow!  I immediately went back to check on Miss Ruth.  Everything looked good, and she had a nice sized bag.  George had reported that he watched the baby nurse, so that was a relief.  I finally headed back to the house to wait for the Country Boy to come home, as it would probably take both of us to move him to the right side of the fence.

Finally, the moment arrived.  The Country Boy eased the back leg up, and determined it was a bull calf.  It took some doing, but we finally moved him back into the pasture.  About that time, Miss Ruth noticed us and came running.  Little Mama (another one of our cows) noticed her excitement, and came running herself.  Miss Ruth didn’t care much for that, so she started nudging Little Mama out of the way.  Little Mama jumped, and in the process, sent the little guy rolling through two complete turns, and came within an inch of stepping on him.  I yelped.  Miss Ruth screamed.  And the calf just stood back up, shook himself, and headed over to eat.

I have had enough of my heart being lodged in my throat this calving season. But considering only four out of fourteen have had calves, it looks like I am going to just have to suffer with the condition.  I will remain watchful, and just try to swallow my water around my heart, and pray it doesn’t get waterlogged.


Stay tuned for more on calving season at the Plantation.  And as is the standard procedure, we’ll just have to wait for this one to get a name, as Miss Ruth was ‘adopted’ by Ruth Truckey, and she will get the honor of naming the baby.

Now.  Let’s just hope the next one isn’t born on cold night in a storm.  Unfortunately, that is also standard procedure here in the Plantation!  Yes, I do know it is June, and the chance of freezing rain right now is almost non-existent.  Um…have y’all ever heard of Murphy’s Law?  Well, around here, we refer to it as ‘Murphree’s Law’…

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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