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The Spot

The day I saw a cow giving birth

This is THE SPOT

I was driving my daughter to school, we always drive through the Farmer’s cow lane to get to school, it’s the fastest way. I try to pray with my kids on the way, I ask what they’re worried about that day, or if they have any friends they want to lift up, or anything they’re thankful for. So I was in the middle of my “and what would YOU like to thank God for today?” when out of the corner of my eye I saw a large pink whale thing laying in the middle of the mud and the mama cow was just laying there and there was a circle of other cows standing around and “OH MY GOSH THAT COW IS GIVING BIRTH” I slammed on the brakes and swerved into the ditch. 

“Mama! We don’t say that!” came a chorus of three voices from the backseat. My kids never give the Holy Spirit a chance to convict me, they’re much too quick for that.

“I know. I’m sorry. Oh my word, I need to call the Farmer. Oh my word. Kids! Quiet! This is a very important phone call!”

I thought this was my moment, I was going to save this mother cow and her baby. Because clearly NOBODY knew she was in the field giving birth at this very moment! Nobody COULD know because who would let a cow give birth alone? So I called the Farmer.

“Hi! I’m so sorry to call so early (stupid thing to say to a farmer, she’s probably been up for 3 hours at this point) but I’m driving to school past the dairy cows and there’s one giving birth right here by the side of the road!”

“Oh hi Inge. Yeah, yeah they do that.”

“What? I mean, is she okay? She’s all alone. I don’t see anyone helping. Is she doing this on her own?”

“Oh yes, they do it all on their own.”

“Are you sure? Because, she’s just laying there. And the baby is just laying there.”

“Yep. I’m sure.”

“Well, is someone going to come check on them? She’s all alone.”

“Yeah once the baby’s out and has nursed then we’ll come and take her up to the barn but she’s fine, trust me.”

“Okay, so this is normal? I didn’t know. So now I know this is normal. Are you going to check on her? The baby is still in the sac, like it’s IN the sac, did I mention the baby is just laying there?”

“….would you like us to come check on her?”

“That would be good. That seems like a good idea. I mean really, they’re just laying there. I didn’t know they did it on their own but now I know but checking is always a good idea, don’t you think?”

“Okay, we’ll go check on her. Thanks for letting us know.”

I mean, how was I supposed to know they could give birth all on their own? Granted there was a circle of other cows standing around for moral support, which upon further reflection is not that far off from a human’s hospital birth experience. The way the doctors and nurses all come into the room in the last moment and it’s like this semi circle of thousands of dollars of salary all watching you and nobody is really doing anything but thank goodness they’re there otherwise who would we pay all those hospital bills to?

When I relayed this story to my sister she responded very accurately, “I’m no expert but I’ve read a lot of James Herriott and he was ALWAYS there when the cows were having babies with one or both hands up in the mix helping pull ’em out!”

That is literally what I was thinking in that moment of the phone call. James Herriott would BE here and nobody is here with this poor cow. My mom said the exact same thing, “but James Herriott was always there helping the mama cows!”

To which Hubs responded, “it wouldn’t be much of a book if he wasn’t.” 

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