Born into Silence

I read the title for this week’s Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence, and before I could read the context or instructions, the phone rang.

“Jeny, what are you doing?”
“I’m at the computer.”
“You’re blogging, aren’t you?”
“No.”  (I wasn’t actually typing anything.  In fact, I had only read the top line of the before mentioned page. So, no, I wasn’t actually blogging.)
“Do you want to see a baby being born?”
“YES!”
“We’ll probably have to pull it.  I’m going to go find a rope.  Come on over.”
“Okay.  I have to get some warmer clothes.  I’ll be right there!”
(I look out the window.  The clouds are rolling in, the wind is picking up, the sky is spitting snow.   Hummmm.  This could get cold if there is any trouble.  Better dress warm.)

This week’s writing challenge was completely forgotten in the phone call.   I arrived just in time to meet my friend in the driveway.  I followed him out to the pasture.  My mind is going a million miles an hour, full of excitement.   We are looking for the heifer in labor.   Quietly, we round the first corner of the corrals.  Silence …..

We walk slowly, quietly, around the far corner of the corrals, and we look ahead …. there she is … and she has already had the calf.  Awesome!  Full of anticipation, wonder, excitement and relief, we get closer and we see she is licking the new baby.  It is a beautiful sight.  Silence …..

Wait, something is not right.  Silence …..

The baby is not moving it’s hind legs.  We move in closer.   Things don’t look right.  We are talking back and forth, sharing observations, talking to the momma, talking to the baby, more talking back and forth.   I want to take a picture of this beautiful moment, momma and baby touching noses, connecting, bonding.   I would if it was normal.  All I see now is a momma and baby totally focused on each other, yet neither one acting appropriate for a healthy birth.  Could this be the end instead of the beginning?  To take a photo now seems wrong, invasive.   Silence ….

We decide to go inside and call the vet.    The vet gave instructions, and back out we go. Momma is laying down, next to baby.   We’re going to have to catch up momma and tie her to the fence post so we can milk her and try and get baby to eat.   Why is she lying down? The baby’s hind legs still aren’t moving.   Ugh.  The wind is blowing, the sun is starting to slowly go down.    We take in all that has to come together.  Silence ….

We get momma caught up.  More help arrives.   Two of us are working with momma and two of us are working with baby.  The milking and feeding goes well.   Now to get them under cover.   This is no easy task.   Moving livestock around, getting hay, getting water, getting everyone situated.   The sun is almost down and I’m getting cold.   Silence ….

We get momma and baby situated.  The vet is on the way.  We know everyone is okay for now.   The cow-hands head home.  However, for the heifer, the little bull calf and their owners, it will all start again in a few more hours when baby needs to eat again.  Silence …

It’s dark.  I arrive home, very cold.  I feed all my horses.  Then I come in and shower.  The hot water feels so good!   I sit on the couch and I remember this week’s writing challenge.   Now, the theme is very appropriate.  When I ran off to see a baby being born, I didn’t think it would go this way.  Silence ….

(After I wrote this, I learned that the calf was diagnosed with brain damage, which explains why it couldn’t eat independently or walk.  It was put out of its misery. )

Below are 25 random other contributions to this week’s Writing Challenge:  The Sound of Silence.  For the whole list, visit the challenge page.

  1. Eight Things I Wish I Knew Before I Taught at a Boarding School | Kosher Adobo
  2. The Sounds of Silence* | Icescreammama
  3. underwood | yi-ching lin photography
  4. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Under the Monkey Tree
  5. Moments | anonim0us
  6. As Loud as Silence | Chimerical Chicanery
  7. Unspeakable | Musings of a Soul Eclectic
  8. Aborted Words | The Backwords
  9. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | carojesu
  10. yesterday’s snow lets | y
  11. Finding what you didn’t know you were looking for… | Crap I Blog About
  12. WWC: The Sound of Silence | Learning the Anishinaabe Way
  13. Who Said So? | Buzzy Beez
  14. Silence challenge | knovak616
  15. The Silence Welcomes Me | StormieSteele
  16. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Bringing Out the God-Colors in the World
  17. Suicide no. 27: Vow of Silence | derekalanwilkinson
  18. Silent White | Mary J Melange
  19. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Your Original LUPUSDIVA….
  20. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | No Apologies
  21. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  22. Hush me again, I can’t stand it. | May van Reenen
  23. it’s haircut day | Musings of a Random Mind
  24. My Quest for the Sound of Silence | Schizo Incognito
  25. No Curse | scottishmomus
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25 thoughts on “Born into Silence

    1. I found out today that the calf had to be put down. The vet said that it had brain damage, which would explain why it couldn’t walk and couldn’t eat naturally. 😦 Thank you so much for asking.

    1. Thank you for reading and your encouragement. 🙂 As for the calf, it was put down. The vet said it had brain damage, which explained why it couldn’t walk or eat naturally. Thank you for asking.

    2. It was difficult. Moments like these poke at that point of tension between miraculous interventions and the systematic course of a series of events. I have found that my exposure to farm / ranch life has been invaluable to my work as a chaplain. Its has also given me a whole new appreciation for the farmer / rancher and their understanding of life and death. The calf was beautiful. I’m thankful for the memories.

  1. You capture suspense beautifully. I am held in the moment and time flies when I read your work. Thank you for sharing this life affirming experience. This post is enriching.

      1. That’s so lovely of you saying this! I am having the best time in this WP community. Hadn’t realised how many new worlds I could learn about. A happy place for sure. All my good wishes!

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