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For The Love of Cows
I can't believe some of the things that I have done for my children. This is not a complaint, or an expression of regret; it is more a statement of wonder than anything else. Let me give you an example:
When my daughter was probably ten or so, we had an incident where my cousin's pregnant cow became sick. The vet was called out and they did what they could, but the next morning when we looked out in the field the poor thing was dead. My daughter, who has a heart for animals, ran out to check on the cow and came back excitedly, " I saw the baby kick Daddy, you gotta do something to help it!"
Now, I seriously doubted that the baby had actually kicked, but she kept pleading and begging with me until I made my way out into the field with her.
When we got there it was obvious that rigormortis had set in. The legs were stiff and the eyes were nothing but glassy orbs staring blankly off into space. I tried to explain to her that she could not have seen the baby move, that the cow had died in the night and the baby with it, but she could not bring herself to believe it and insisted that she saw movement in the dead cow's stomach area. There was no consoling her. In her mind the baby was in danger and we were in a race against time to save it. She pleaded through teary eyes, "You gotta do something Daddy!"
A decision had to me made. Should I walk away, knowing that I was right? Or should I do something to prove it to my daughter? It was an easy decision.
I ran back to the house and came back with the sharpest knife that I could find. Then, I knelt down by the stiff and lifeless cow, placed the knife against it's hide and proceeded to do my first, and last, cow Cesarean section.
I wish that I could say that it was an easy operation, but you have to know that I am not a cow expert. In fact, if there were a cow hater's club then I would belong to it. In addition, to be perfectly honest, I had no clue what I was doing and, to make matters worse, the knife was not as sharp as I had hoped.
The hot morning sun started to bear down and a bead of salty sweat found its way over my eyebrows and into my eyes. I wiped it away and began to cut at the place I thought the baby should be. After a few minutes it was clear that I had managed to locate the stomach.
I tried again in a different area, cutting the tough hide away, all the while listening to my daughters pleas of, "Please hurry Daddy, please hurry."
After about fifteen minutes, I finally found what I thought was the right place, but then the blade of the knife hit the bladder, and a flow of urine flooded over my knife and hand. My stomach heaved and I had to stand up to get away from from the disgusting smell. Let me add that this was not the first smell that had sent my stomach into convulsions.
I was ready to give up, but I somehow managed to press on. I got back to work, and eventually found the right place. I peeled the hide back to the point where I could see the calf inside through the sheer wall of the birth sack. I actually found myself hoping beyond hopes that it was alive, but it was not to be.
I cut the sack open and pulled out the baby, a stream of fluids and smells coming along with it. My daughter saw the lifeless calf and was finally convinced that it was dead. She cried even harder.
I look back on that situation and, even though it was gross and disgusting, I believe that I did the right thing. A father needs to be a hero in his children's eyes, and that day, despite the queasy stomach and the fact that I couldn't eat for the rest of the week, I felt like a hero to my daughter.
But, if the situation arises again... she's going to have to do it herself.
Last edited: Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:11 pm
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A day your daughter will no doubt remember forever. Thanks for sharing your story EG. Really interesting read.