Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Circle of Life...

*Warning...some photos could be considered graphic, or at least really sad. 
This is rural life.
Summer 2010

Living in the country, surrounded by cattlemen and farmers, is sometimes not a pleasant experience. Oh, it's a happy day when a new calf is born but when death comes it's not pleasant. Not at all.

Our elderly neighbor, who runs about 60 head of cattle at any given time, made a hasty approach to our front door on Monday. He had a cow down. She wasn't dead, just down. He wanted my boys to come over and help him get her up. She's old and only weighs about 800 lbs so of course we said yes, and hurried to get boots and coats on. I grabbed my camera so I could take pictures of the joyous moment when they get her up right.

*Poor Gertrude!

While they were getting the tractor and some other items to help raise her up to a standing position, I went over and started talking to her. I know. Kind of dumb, huh? But I talk to these cows all the time. They eat grass right across my driveway and occasionally...in my yard. I told her she could do it. She could get up. I encouraged her, and clapped my hands to get her attention. She looked at me with one ear raised up and gave it a good try several times. She just couldn't do it on her own.

*feeding time

In the meantime, some of the other cows are getting fed so they will mind their own business and not interfere with the rescue operation. They're really curious creatures and will come right up to you when they think something interesting is happening.

*Hey, Gertrude, Whatcha' doin' down there?

I guess they didn't get enough to eat because they came over anyway. Maybe they were trying to encourage the old girl to get up and grab some dinner. It was about noon, after all. Our neighbor is tying a rope around her neck (it's very loose!) so he can lift her up enough with the tractor for my boys to take over and push her up. We were all assuming she would only need an umph to get going. She wasn't injured in any way by the rope.

*Heave Ho, boys!

Notice the rope is no longer around her neck. I didn't want to cause anyone nightmares by actually showing the rope pulling her up, just that they were successful in getting her to this point so that my boys could give her the boost! 

*She needed a little talking to. I'm not sure she's listening.



*The cow whisperer took over, giving some encouraging words. 
She stayed upright like that for quite awhile. We couldn't hang around any longer as the boys had to get back to their school work. And at this point, I kind of figured it might not end well. I'm sorry to say I never got that photo of the miraculous moment she would get up and run off with her friends.

She was quite old and nature was taking its course. She never did get enough energy to get up. She died. My neighbor said my boys did a good job helping him try to save her. He didn't expect she'd live but he at least had to try. 

*In her healthier days munching grass with her friends

I felt bad that it was her time to go, but she birthed many calves over the years and because of that, we have the joy of seeing and hearing these fabulous beasts across our front yard.

Images are mine. Please don't take them without asking. Not that anyone would want them. I'm just sayin'.







23 comments:

  1. Poor Gertrude! None of us live forever.

    Go ahead and link up, Anne. It's all just part of life :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lisa. I just didn't want to freak anyone out but like you say, it is part of life, and it's a huge part of rural living!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for stopping by Anne. I will be following, by the way my mom just live in Winston-Salem or on the out skirts anyway. My sister lives in Highpoint! Glad to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clint, Thanks for commenting and following. Hope you have a good day with your projects!

      Delete
  3. ohhh i'm so sad for gertrude :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tanya,
      Thanks for commenting! It was sad :(

      Delete
  4. So sad, but looking at that big field she was in...i bet she had a wonderful life. Not many cows get to live to be old cows, ya know. Living in the country you truly do get to see the circle of life first hand. RIP Gertrude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Tree,

      They have about 60 acres to run on so I know they are happy out there :) Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  5. Anne, I've witnessed many a death here on our place -- and although it can be a sad situation, it's life and death and reality. I appreciate your honesty and commentary on this sensitive subject.

    Thank you for sharing at Rural Thursday. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Nancy,
      Yes, we have seen many animals die out here but it has also given us the opportunity to talk about life & death with our children as they were growing up. And they've seen some beautiful animals come into the world :)

      Delete
  6. Very nice post, death is a reality in rural living. Gertrude looks as though she had a good life, can't ask for much more than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Candy,
      It's hard when they're so friendly! They come right up to us and eat fruit or greens...they're like big babies :)
      Thanks for coming by today!

      Delete
  7. Very sad, but a good reminder of what happens sometimes when you either live out in the country or have animals yourself. We had three meat chickens that dropped dead in the heat of last summer. I felt horrible, and ran a fan out to their pen until we butchered them.

    Thanks for the homeschooling encouragment, and for visiting Green Acres. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you were able to keep those chickens cool! I know ours just laze around under the fig bush in the summer :) Thanks for coming over and leaving a comment!

      Delete
  8. Poor old girl... it is sad when an animals dies & so wonderful when one gives birth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer, It is indeed! Glad you stopped by. Thanks!

      Delete
  9. Obviously her owner had a good soul as did his best for her...but God has his own plans. I'm sure he appreciated help from his "friendly and willing neighbors." That's what makes rural living a blessing~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're always happy to help our neighbor out. They're nice folk and don't mind all our crazy ideas being implemented over here :) Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  10. It alway sad when an animal dies...Sure sounds like all you tried your best.....I am sure the farmer really appreciated your guys getting in there and helping him but then rural neighbors do that don't they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the great thing about living in the country, Nancy! And my boys have learned so many fascinating things about cows :) I appreciate you taking the time to come by and leave a comment!

      Delete
  11. Too bad about Gertrude, but as you said, that's life. It's not always pleasant. It was nice to make the valiant effort to help her, though.

    ReplyDelete

I am so delighted that you've taken time to come by and comment. Blessings for a joy-filled day!

1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.