Friday, 11 December 2009

"What I write, it will come true"

I'm starting to think I have some woo woo psychic visionary power. Stuff I write has a spooky habit of coming true. In that last post I speculate about the empty dams becoming a potential cow trap. Well, it happened yesterday morning.

The cows are in the field on the neighbour's place, opposite our front veranda , and I woke up to the incessant marming of a calf. I went out to investigate and could see the calf in question with a group of others being looked out for by the designated babysitter, so didn't think anything more of it. G-Man got back to the house at about 5:30 AM (some hours after Sparrow Fart) and the calf was still going for it, so he walked along the creek bed to investigate further. There, up to her shoulders in putrid ooze, he found its mother.

He came back and got ropes, waders, chains and the tractor and set off to find an access away to the field, and sent me off to keep the mother calm. She must have been stuck in the mud for several hours sternly warning her calf away from the danger. Every time it got close to her, she mooed something in cowese that seem to say, "stay where you are, do not come any closer", becasue it appeared to do as it was told.

The poor old girl was exhausted from trying to climb out of the bog. By now the calf was really hungry and kept returning despite best efforts of the babysitter trying to steer it up the hill. On one occasion as it advanced towards us, I could see the high tide mark of mud up to its shoulders and realised that in fact it was the calf that had gone in the first and the mother, in an effort to save it (which she did) got herself into trouble.

G-Man, our hero, waded into the sludge and got the rope around her neck and under her front shoulders and attached it to the tractor, and with advice from Dave (the guy who drives a cattle truck who we'd rung because we'd never had to do this before) tried to pull her out. However, she was so slippery that the rope just slid over ahead, pulling her front legs up under her chin. After two attempts, he had to get back into the bog again and retie the rope, this time with a loop under a black leg and tail as well.

We were both terrified that the force might break her neck or pelvis, but there was nothing else we could do -- we don't have a gun and I don't think either of us could summon up the will to kill her until we'd tried everything else. He got back up onto the tractor, tensioned the rope and and then started pulling. She was so slippery that she slithered up the bank quite easily, looking for all the world like a newborn emerging. Which she was I guess, reborn.

She was all tensed up during the pull, but when she realised she was on dry land that wasn't giving way beneath her, she flung her head back and closed her eyes. At that point I thought she was a goner, that we'd broken something vital, but within a minute she was up. Her hindquarters were shaking -- the muscles must have been burning with lactic acid from the struggle - but she had her head down and was eating, without so much as even a rope burn.

We lead her out of the paddock and back to the herd who were, I have to say, wildly delighted to see her back, not least of which her calf, soon to be seen greedily sucking up a muddy milkshake.

Lucky number 61.


  1. Erk!

    Why are the dams empty? I know I'm a bit behind the times in your weather, but I'm sure the last time I checked you lot were just about to go under for the third time, in the mother of all floods... has it really been so long since the rains?

  2. It's fkn quirky up here. A mother and father of a storm just passed through Nambour, and we didn't get a drop. It's been months without rain in our valley, and its bloody hearbreaking. The dams still have water, but the creek bed that links them is no longer running and that's where the cow got bogged, in one of the oozy billabongs. My garden is fkd, and if it doesn't rain in the next week we're going to have to buy feed or move the herd further down the road to the next neighbor's paddocks if she's up for it, but her fences aren't in very good shape, so G-man will have to fix them up before he puts the cattle in.


  3. on my parents farm not far from where you are they've had an influx of wildlife- roos, foxes, digoes, snakes, massive's been really really hot and dry and maybe the animals are all coming for the dam.

    Also, a huge ant infestation...lots and lots of crazy ant activity- so maybe there might be a big storm coming? Ants often run for shelter when they sense the storms's hoping...

  4. As I write, it is spitting rain. Fingers are crossed for the wisdom of the ants. They always know! But I'm not holding my breath for much rain - no yellow crested cockatoos, who seem to know more.

    But they are bigger.

  5. O thank heavens that ended better than I thought it would

  6. Well thank goodness for mothers, heroes and heavy machinery is all I can say.

  7. Morning cloud and drizzle.
    It will burn off soon as the day drogresses, but it has wt the whistle.

  8. Hey, over here in Doonan it started raining about 15 minutes ago, and is sounding as if it means to continue -- not bucketing down, but falling pretty steadily. Hope you get some of it, but as you know precipitation around here is often very local.

  9. 6 ml yesterday and overnight and still overcast.
    It's a start at least.

  10. Thank God you got the mother out without any lasting damage. It's heartbreaking when animals are in such a helpless predicament. I have a hero hubby a bit like your G-man - seems to be able to fix anything in an emergency. It's just gotta rain soon.