Managing 300 acres of pasture involves a bit of a trek for the cows to get to field to field. Fortunately these country roads are not too busy. Tonya, the lead cow knows this haul to Campbell Field intimately. From the farmhouse, it’s about a 2 mile trek. She leads the herd with precision. What would we do without her?
This herd move works great with three people. We have to stop traffic at both ends of the road to get the cows to Campbell safely. People love to stop and watch. We have a driver in front of the cows with someone calling them forward from the back of the pickup. It’s not often you get to see 300 cows barreling down the road with a simple “cowie” call guiding them. No cowboys insight spitting and groaning on horses. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Just Michael running in tennis shoes bringing up the rear of the herd. The cows are always appreciative of their destination. It’s a cool shady spot next to the river in the shade.
Here’s the amazing part of this move. As soon as the herd rumbled into the field, I heard a baby crying. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. A lot of adrenaline in the air with a move this big. At first I thought a calf was born.
Then it was loud and clear. The cows stumbled upon this newborn fawn and they terrified her. I found her under the cedar tree wailing. Once the herd got near to the field mom took off. I quickly swooped the fawn into my arms before she got trampled on. Oh what a magical moment holding a newborn fawn. Have you ever heard the sound of their cry? It’s piercing. More piercing than a baby lamb. Straight through the heart.
After checking with our elders (neighbors) who have raised countless fawns, we found a bush to put her under which was close to where we found her but on the other side of the cows. She remained undisturbed until mom returned. Not only did the cows frighten her but so did we. My heart ached for her. She ran for cover under that bush with great speed. I could hardly sleep that night. So much anticipation for her safety and longing for mom to return. It was clear to us that mom was nearby.
With great faith the following morning I rushed to recover her from the bush but she was gone. We’re certain mom returned. What a delicious precious brief encounter we shared. It lit up my whole weekend. Later our neighbor reported seeing them strolling through pasture. Just like Disney would have it! A perfect ending/beginning.
More babies in the brooder. Around 700 little faces. They steal your heart in a gentle way too but I must admit holding a newborn fawn steals the day. How fortunate for me. Now that’s something to look forward to.