Pipi’s Pasture: Cricket has her calf
It has been awhile since I have written about my twins. The heifer calves were born about three years ago to Sarah, a cow that is currently about 20 years old. When she got ready to calve that early spring morning, I had no idea to expect twins; Sarah had never had a set of twins before. So when I saw that she had one calf, I went off and left her alone to clean it up.
When I went back out to Pipi’s Pasture, I was surprised to find another calf. This one was smaller, it had one ear and one foot turned back, and its neck was crooked so that it couldn’t look straight forward. The calf hadn’t gotten up yet so I went back to the house and fixed a bottle.
By the time I fed the smaller calf, the other one was heading off into the pasture. I turned it back to the corral and headed the calf and mom there (where they could all get to know each other). Just as I shut the corral gate, I looked up to see the other baby hurrying toward the corral as fast as she could go with her weak foot. By the time she got to the corral, she fell down and had to crawl through a hole under the gate. I have never forgotten that sight.
The calves thrived. I named the smaller one “Cricket,” for the “crick” in her neck, and the other one “Jiminey.” Eventually, Cricket’s neck straightened out, but she was smaller than Jiminey.
As yearlings, the heifers went to summer pasture with Sarah and were bred. That spring I watched them like a hawk, checking them all night when they were ready to have their calves. Jiminey had a beautiful calf all by herself, but Cricket was still small so she needed a little help calving. We thought she was doing fine; Cricket cleaned off her calf and it nursed. However, awhile later she prolapsed.
Dr. Davis came out from Craig and fixed Cricket up. She did fine. I know very little about prolapses — we had never had one with our cattle before. I did know, however, that once a cow has a prolapse she’s apt to have another. So I vowed not to let her be bred again. Remembering the sight of her coming to the corral when she was born, I also vowed to keep her.
So that first year, the two heifers stayed at Pipi’s Pasture for the summer where they raised their calves. The next year Jiminey went to summer pasture; Cricket stayed. All was well until October of this past fall when a bull jumped the fence and bred Cricket.
This calving season, Jiminey had a big beautiful heifer calf. When Cricket was getting ready to calve the last part of June, I was a nervous wreck, concerned that she would prolapse. I watched her night and day. I got up so much at night that I forgot whether I was coming or going. One early morning I thought I saw signs that Cricket might have problems. I called Dr. Davis.
I woke the poor man. He tried his best to listen to a crazy woman. He asked what time it was. (It was 5:18 a.m.) He gave me an early morning lesson about a prolapse. I said I’d check the cow and call him back. Dr. Davis yawned. He said that would be a good idea. I did call him back at 7. He yawned some more. I said I’d watch her. He said that would be a good idea.
Guess what? In between checking times, several days later, I heard a cow’s moos before I got to the corral. Then I saw a beautiful eighty-pound calf walking around in the pen. Cricket had her calf, and I missed the whole thing. Best of all, she never had any problems.
This week’s picture book for children was written and illustrated by David Litchfield who lives in the United Kingdom. “The Bear, the Piano, the Dog, and the Fiddle” is a sequel to “The Bear and the Piano,” a best-selling picture book.