This particular day I had to leave prepared because even though I would be spending my day shopping for a piece of furniture and running errands, I also had to work in a fence check at our leased farm two hours away. We recently purchased our dream ranch but we haven't moved our herd yet so we have to check on them regularly to make sure they are behaving themselves until moving day. This distance creates a certain amount of stress but it is a small price to pay to finally have our own land.
I decided to tackle the errands first and as luck would have it, found the piece of furniture I was looking for as well. I told the sales clerk that I would pick it up on my way back through because I had one other piece of business to take care of first. That piece of business was driving another thirty five minutes to the farm to walk five miles of fence to check boundaries and cattle activity. It was hot and sticky but after my last debacle with poison oak there would be no exposed skin no matter how hot it was. Long sleeves and boots and off I went. I wasn't even a third of the way into my hike when I looked into the woods and thought ugh, something is wrong with this picture. It looked like a young cow was on one side of the fence and her newborn calf was on the other. Sure enough, once I hiked into the trees I realized her newborn calf was on the wrong side of the fence. The calf was still slimy from birth and had the remnants of the umbilical cord hanging so I new it was a very recent birth. The cow must have either backed up to the fence giving birth or was so close that the thrashing calf ended up on the wrong side. It didn't matter either way, the only thing that mattered was getting it back on the right side of the fence or it would die. It was just my luck that it happened in an area that my husband and I had just rebuilt so unfortunately the six strands of barbwire were banjo tight and I didn't have any tools with me. I knew I was going to have to get creative so I walked along until I could find a place that I thought I could slither through on my back. Getting down in the dirt I inched under the last strand of wire barely clearing my face. Sliding through mud and manure I happily reached the other side in one piece. The calf was wet and slimy and weighed about fifty pounds and somehow I was going to have to shove it through the fence to its mother in one piece. Walking along I had to find a part of the fence that I could stretch far enough to push the calf through. Luckily the calf was just born so it didn't know to run from me yet, in fact, it had barely learned to stand so it was easy to scoop up the slimy critter. What wasn't easy was getting it back through the fence. Groaning and grunting I pushed until I finally got the wire pulled back just enough to get him through but not without cutting my hands and arms to pieces. Blood was running everywhere, I was muddy and smelly but the calf was back with it's mother and that is all that mattered. If I hadn't been there at just that moment the calf would have died and besides the sadness of losing a newborn, that newborn also represented about $1,200.00 in revenue for our business. Luckily the rest of the hike was uneventful. I tried to wash up in the creek as best I could but needless to say I didn't look anything like the person who left the house this morning.
Stopping back in town to pick up my piece of furniture before the trip home the sales rep looked at me in astonishment wondering what in the world had happened to me since that morning. I tried to explain but it was completely lost on her. The woman had no idea why I would have to go through all that. I didn't think she would understand she was a city girl, but that's okay, I knew what I had accomplished and that is all that mattered. I saved a young calf and it felt really good. I have learned that timing is everything and you always have to prepare for the unexpected!