“It should have been easy…it should have been oh, so easy….” The classic tune from the Whites played over and over in my head that night—the wee hours of Monday morning, actually—as Hubby and I wrestled, heaved, and held up Princess’ calf to nurse. Her huge, lanky bull calf must have been ill-positioned and too cramped en utero, as he could not straighten his legs sufficiently to stand and walk by himself. Princess, bawling loudly with worry and frustration, echoed my own thoughts.
Weary and with throbbing backs, we continued helping the big calf (who I’d named Moose due to his size, limb length, and small eyes) to stand and nurse, gently stretching and rubbing his legs, and praying, but progress was painfully slow. I was nervous because Hubby would be going to work the rest of the week, and I wasn’t sure if I was strong enough to manage on my own. A retired rancher who lived nearby graciously agreed to help, but I was worried that Princess would not tolerate a stranger meddling with her baby.
I slept through the alarm I’d set for the midnight feeding and woke with a start at 1:01 pm. “The alarm didn’t go off—it’s 1:00!” I exclaimed, grabbing my shoes.
“I already did it,” Hubby said, grinning in the darkness. “The prayers worked—Bullwinkle can stand, walk, and nurse all by himself! Princess was happy—she licked him all over, and he didn’t fall down. He wasn't even shaking!” While I'd slept, Moose got a better name and better legs!
This morning, Bullwinkle surprised me once again—he hopped—a sure sign of health and high spirits. B.W. is definitely the homeliest calf that Princess has had (his sire was a VERY unwelcome trespasser that belonged to the neighbor), but nothing could be more beautiful to me than seeing that calf not only on his feet nursing, but also hopping!
“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him….” PSALM 91:15