Sunday, November 29, 2009


The calf is now nearly twice as tall as the goats, and her personality is beginning to shine. Yesterday I enjoyed watching her frolic with the does when they were put out to pasture, then chase a flock of starlings; today I shared one of the sweetest farm moments I ever experienced with her.
I was returning from watering the goats, which I had just milked; they rallied around, pushing and shoving each other, butting heads and biting ears: a street gang of four-legged hooligans. I filled their bucket, then headed in, but was distracted.
The calf was in the higher field with her mother, Buttercup, about 10 feet from the corridor fence. Buttercup's back was to me, and the calf was nursing noisily. I had a great view of this sweet moment, so I stopped at the fence to watch. The calf watched me as she nursed, glancing up with those big, brown eyes, then lifted her head and walked over to me. I reached in with both hands, and began to scratch her cheeks the way she likes; she raised her head, enjoying the caress, then looked at me: huge, brown, innocent eyes without fear or guile; long, black lashes on top and bottom: a wet mouth still frothing with her mother's milk; soft, honey-colored baby-soft fur, moist from nursing, covering her growing brow and glistening muzzle. She closed her eyes and craned her neck upward for more scratching, and time stood still while we merged our souls for a moment. And then we were done, but it was magical; I will never forget it. This sweet baby that I carried in from the field the hour she was born, the baby that grew shy and large, that wandered between the goats and the cows, but never approached the people...this sweet baby shared a moment in the sun with me, and my world was perfect.
What a beautiful day.

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