Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Not-So Silent Night

Most of the Moos in Mooville are mad. It’s weaning time out in the corral, and a fence separates the milk-craving calves from their swollen-uddered Black Angus mamas. Loud and heart-rending bellows can be heard even in the house.

Ranchers play the role of benevolent dictators. (Judging from the padding on the ribs of our livestock, Hubby and I are a bit too benevolent.) Our decisions are based on the welfare of the land and animals, and the cattle are usually in full agreement, such as when we decide that it’s time to rotate pastures or start feeding hay. But when it comes to weaning, we’re all a bit miserable.

The distress is unavoidable. The pregnant mama cows don’t need to be supporting those big calves along with their unborn ones; besides, the calves have been fully ruminating for months and get plenty of protein from alfalfa. We humans know that, but it still pains us to watch (and listen to) the unhappiness down at the barn. We also realize that, in a matter of months, the cows will be proudly and happily nursing some darling new calves. But, alas, we can’t ease the discomfort or quiet the protests. Care and prayers are ours to give, but peace is not ours to impart, primarily because we can’t speak Black Anglish.

Oh, for a host of heavenly winged bovines to moo lullabies tonight: Peace on earth, goodwill towards cattle. Everything is going to be alright! Now, calm down and have a silent night, holy night!

“Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness…
Then showing us the way…down the path of peace.”
                      LUKE 1:78-79

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