This is a story about a calf, now a cow, named Wanda. She really doesn’t have a last name, and if she did, it wouldn’t be O’Toole But heck, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day! Here she is with her very first calf – his name is Wally. You might notice that Wanda’s ears are a bit shorter than the average cow.
This story has quite a bit of background, so bear with me. As I (hopefully) have established, I go home to the family ranch every year for a spring break “vacation” during calving season. Four years ago, during my first spring back in Montana, my folks called the vet to come help with a difficult birth. This is a very unusual occurrence on our outfit, as we generally can deal with most of these troubles ourselves. The cow was a first-calf heifer that was very nervous, and so she was christened Wild Woman. The calf was lucky to be alive, so she was named Wonder Woman.
Okay, fast forward two years. Mom and I were out checking the pregnant cows in the outside pastures who were supposed to be a little farther off from calving. It was well below-zero with a stiff wind. My loyal readers, are you sensing a theme here? Sure enough, a first-calf heifer had calved out in that cold. She had done a good job of licking the calf, but the calf was very chilled and Mom and I needed to act fast.
So we loaded the calf in the pickup: front seat, passenger side. Mom got in with the calf and rubbed her with a towel to get some blood flowing while I drove like a bat across the seventy bajillion frozen cow pies between there and the house. We laid the cute little heifer calf on towels in front of the stove and went to work on her with the towels and got some warm milk in her. She was severely chilled and if we had been just a few minutes later, we probably wouldn’t have saved her. But we did, and she needed a name. Of course, we couldn’t call her Wonder Woman, as that had already been taken. And so she became Wanda, a derivative of Wonder.
Because of their exposure to the cold, Wanda froze her ears right off. So close to her head in fact, that we couldn’t get a tag in her ear. In this picture, she looks kind of mad about it, actually. And now, here Wanda is, all grown up with a calf of her own. But wouldn’t you know it? It was pretty darn cold when Wally was born, too. Pretty sure he’s going to lose at least the edges of his ears. Seems like it runs in the family.
Yours in travel,
The Asphalt Cowgirl
“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux
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