Chapter 14


A newborn male calf was already laying on the straw when the three entered the stall. It was red, with a white stripe down its back. It was trying to stand up, but its feet were still shaky.

"All right!" shouted Blain.

"This is great!" said Stan, as they knelt by the calf and watched its struggles to stand.

"How's Mom doing?" asked Chris.

Blain checked her out. She was still on her side and had not started to lick her calf yet. Glancing over the cow, Blain said, "She looks good as far as I can tell." Then he inspected her hind quarters.

"Wait. There's another one!" he shouted.

"Jackpot!" cried Chris.

They watched as part of a clear bubble emerged from the cow.

"Come on, baby, come on," urged Stan.

But nothing more happened. The bubble seemed stuck, half in and half out of the mother. Blain got closer to actually look inside the bubble.

"Uh oh," he said. "We've got trouble."

"What is it?" asked Chris.

"It's positioned wrong. The front feet should show first. All I see is a snout. That means the feet are wedged inside somehow."

"Can you do something?" asked Stan.

"I'll have to go inside, find the feet and pull them out."

Blain broke the bubble by putting his hand in it. Fluid rushed out and sank into the straw. Then he put his hand further and further into the cow's body. She moaned but did not move.

"Hurry! Hurry!" urged Chris.

"I am. I am!" shouted Blain. "Uh, there they are." He started pulling his arm out. Both feet appeared in his hand.

"There," he said to Stan . "You take one. I'll take the other and we'll pull together."

"All right," said Stan. "Let's do it."

"But gently," stressed Blain. "Don't pull it apart. We're trying to save it."

"All right. All right!" replied Stan with exasperation.

They pulled gently but firmly. It didn't move.

"Again," said Blain.

This time it started to slide out. The mother moaned but Chris stroked her head to keep her still.

"Come on. Come on, baby," urged Blain.

"Come on," urged Stan.

Finally, with a large sucking sound, the calf was pulled free of its mother and laid on the straw. Blain started to gently slap its rear end to get it breathing.

Nothing happened.

He slapped harder. The calf lay still.

"No, baby." said Blain. "Come on. Breathe. Breathe!"

He slapped and slapped the calf. It just lay still, a lump of clay.

"We've got to do something!" shouted Chris.

"There’s nothing we can do!" said Blain. "Can't you see it's dead?"

Stan looked at them grimly.

"It's time to call Daddy."