It’s the call I hate to recieve. When on an unfortunate evening I get the ‘heifers-out-call’, that’s unpleasant but manageable, ‘cow-outs’, not so bad, I could nearly do that myself. But a calf on the road; Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
At this time of year, the cows that have yet to calf are few enough and go out to the fields with the milking cows while grass and weather are good. It’s akin to the expectant mommy in her dressing gown pacing the maternity floor to bring on labour. I digress. So, one fine evening this week, one of our lovely ladies (cows) calved down the field and normally we’d move her into a shed with her calf but there was no getting the lady up. She’s since been treated by a vet, bit weak after calving. And tis no wonder. For she had a calf that had the look of a fine man who had eaten his bacon and cabbage. And everyone elses!
So children asleep, I was pottering. That lovely summer’s evening pottering that has me walking from garden to kitchen at various chores in a lazy sunny way. There may have been music. Most likely. There was definately a pot of tea brewing. Going about my evening. You get the picture. What’s that? Who’s that now? Who could be ringing? And instinctively, I look out the window to see that the cows are where they should be, and the heifers; you can see them from the house. All looks good to me. Or so I thought.
It was himself with the dreaded call of ‘a calf on the road.’ I repeat. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Now a calf that has been with his mother in a field for a couple of days is a wild one. Think Tarzan. On speed. Luckily, a passing neighbour had come upon the calf at the cross. It appears that our ‘wee’ calf had it in mind to make himself known to the village. My farmer came on and directed the rascal (the calf that is not the neighbour) back down our road whereupon he came running towards me. At full speed. I think I might not be the only body to get a bit giddy when a calf the size of two labradors is running towards me a la buckaroo.
‘Stop him’, the farmer roars, and this my friends is where the farmer and I may have exchanged some unpleasantries. But there was no stopping Shergar. One swift u-turn and he then ran straight past the farmer. Ha. ‘Right’ my dear husband says then, ‘I’ll go behind him and you hop over that ditch and run in front of him’. ‘You hop over that ditch and run in front of him.’ You, wife, hop over that six foot ditch, you know the thorny, nettled one and run in front of the very fast bucking calf. Is this guy serious? Yes he is.
Did I jump the ditch? Did she jump the ditch when the Kerryman told her to do so?
Did I? No.
In a dramatic turn of events, my Kerry cowboy leapt and jumped onto the runaway calf. Yee-haw. They struggled. I laughed. I pushed. He pulled or at least tried to pull the calf who had gone from bucking bronco to stubborn mule in seconds. And you have never felt pain until a whitehead calf stands with his force on your foot or indeed pucks you with his head. And yet, we laughed. Luckily no car passed to see our comedy as we begged, cajoled and pushed-pulled our errant wild calf back home. So be careful before you pick up a farmhouse phone of an evening and be ever more cautious when a Kerryman tells you to jump a ditch. You heard it here first.
(Note. The calf in the image is another calf not the errant ‘baby’ calf in question).