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a mother and her calf

February 17, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, on the way to work, I saw a mother and her calf. They had been separated and were sniffing and gazing at each other through the fence. I didn’t see the separation happen, but I saw them afterward. I don’t know how long they’d been that way, but from what I understand, the mother will stay right there until her baby is returned. Usually, the baby is not returned, and in some cases the mother will still stand there, waiting.

The mother was sniffing through the fence, longing for her little one. The baby was small; smaller than I’ve ever seen. Around the size of a medium-large dog. He was clumsy on his feet, and I could see this without his even moving a muscle. They stood right next to each other, through the fence. For the first time in a long time, I cried about the animals I saw on the way to work. I had to finally teach myself to just keep driving, not to think about it, just keep going and I’d soon find sanctuary. I should mention, on the way to work, I pass pasture after pasture after pasture of cattle. Young ones, teenaged ones, and adults. This is by no means Harris Ranch, but they are close enough to the road that if you pay enough attention to them, you start to make stories about them.

I paid attention to the mother and her baby and the tears started to flow. And I felt awful inside.

Then, last week, we welcomed a mother and her calf to the sanctuary. It was unexpected and emotionally fulfilling. I had forgotten all about the mother and her baby I’d seen a couple weeks prior, and seeing these two together was one of the more heartwarming things I’ve seen in a long time. The calf is growing, and the mother is growing more comfortable with her new surroundings, and they both finally have the love they deserve.

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