Sidi J. Mahtrow

Ode To The Crippled Cow - Poem by Sidi J. Mahtrow

Red arrived in a trailer with the other heifers
But somehow fell and was trampled down
She painfully stood and hobbled off
Her left hip damaged, painful to see.

Would she recover
Or be doomed for life
Maybe a trip to the auction
Was the best way.

But still, a big heifer
With good breeding
And after all she'd been exposed
To a good bull.

We kept her hoping she'd get better
But she didn't.
Everyday when she walked
Her pain was evident.

What to do,
Wait to see how her calf
Turned out then decide.
Keep her, or off to the auction?

Her bag became full
And she began to dilate
The calf would probably come
On the next front.

Watching and waiting
Everyday seemed to be the one
Until finally heavy rain.
Red was nowhere to be found.

Like all cows she chose to be alone
But where,
And with the gimpy leg
Would she make it?

Other cows with better odds
Develop a spinal blockage
And are unable to stand
Their fate assured.

As soon as the storm passed
The search began.
Of course she's in
The last place you look.

Approached from the distance
Looping around to see
Was a new calf there?
Or was she still waiting?

There in the deep grass
A brown lump
With our approach
Movement - a twitching of the ears.

Silence, Red stood guard.
Best to leave them alone,
Looking back, she stood alongside
Her calf.

The next morning
The cows moved
To the West pasture,
A slow moving herd.

No evidence of Red and her calf
As they moved.
Then just before sundown
They headed back East.

The herd stopped at the spring fed pond.
Calves dropped to the ground
Others cried out for their moms
And a few cows looked for their own.

There amongst them all
Was Red
And there on the ground was
Her brownish lump.

The lump stirred, stood and stretched
And addressed his dam.
But someone had moved the tits
They seemed to be on the other end.

Finally with a bit of encouragement by Red
The calf hooked up
And froze Red in her tracks
Taking the milk in a steady stream.

The other cows moved out
But Red stood still
Then she painfully hobbled
To follow the others.

Her calf first behind but soon
At her side,
Then ahead, then behind.
They moved.

Both were going to make it!
Red had paid her dues.
Life would not be easy
But her reward was obvious to see.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 16, 2011

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

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