Friday, September 10, 2010

Chester the Moo and my achin' butt...

On Wednesday evening, we received a call from a family in our ward (The Sorters, actually, the matriarch of which family gave me the amazing recipe for Blueberry Breakfast Cake... you may remember it. I know I do. Mmmmm...) who's neighbor raises Angus cow/calf pairs. One of his *ahem* more spirited cows had twins, and would have nothing to do with the first born, a hearty black bull calf.

He's adorable.

He smells like heaven.

He was still wet behind the ears when we got to him. Literally. I checked.

His name is Chester.

We went to pick up Chester about an hour after the call, though we didn't know whether we'd end up with a "Chester" or a "Cherie" since we had no clue
what he/she was at the time.

We were on our way to the Sorter's place when we passed this adorable, wrinkly, 150-year-old man shuffling through his yard. I wanted to squeeze him.

I had no idea.

The Sorter's promptly took us to their neighbors to pick up the calf. Much to my surprise, my 150-year-old crush greeted us in his driveway with a "Hmmph" and headed towards his corrals.

Inside, we would meet the twin calves, as well as mama cow, who was - lacking a better word - psychotic.

Karl and Rose bought their homestead in 1950. They have been married 64 years. Their adorability level is comparable to a baby duck. A very fuzzy, yellow baby duck. And yes. Adorability.

Before we arrived, Karl had identified the orphaned calf. He pointed her out... no him out... no her... no him. For sure, him. We loaded the most adorable bull calf into the back of the pickup. Karl asked us to wait. Karl asked us to bring the bull calf back. He'd gotten it wrong. We loaded the heifer into the truck. We waited. The suspense was killing us. We had the heifer in the truck three times, and the bull calf in twice. This went on for about two hours, during which Karl tried to reconcile mama and babies so he could see for sure which one was not getting attention.

One problem...

Mama, at this point, didn't want anything to do with either of them.

She was ticked that we were even there.

She busted right through a fence and tried to eat me (TWICE!!) while we were loading him into the truck. The first time I was on the phone with my mom, and backed right up against a steel gate. Not a good place to be 8 months pregnant and staring down a 1,500 lb animal. Instinctively, I pointed my hip at her, and then did what came naturally...

I lifted my leg and karate kicked her in the face.

The second time I was out in the open... she came through the fence. She stopped. She sniffed the air. She locked her eyes on me. She snorted. She contemplated murder. She charged. I peed my pants. Almost.

I've heard of fight or flight mode... but I have this thing about being chased. Since I was young I've said I'd be the perfect murder victim, because when I feel that someone is chasing me, my bones fuse together, my muscles lock up, and I freeze right where I am.

It's slightly embarrassing.

Thank goodness, I have been wrong all these years. When a real danger presented itself, my body instead did what was needed to protect my life, my dignity, and my child.

I ran.

My huge, wobbly, unstable pelvis'd self ran like there was no tomorrow.

When I finally got stopped, I found out why pregnant women don't run sprints.

Holy put me to bed. I couldn't get my legs to work.

From what we figure, I pulled every ligament and muscle in my hip flexer/pelvic area. I wanted to die that first night. Thank Heavens for a responsible, dependable, competent husband. He took care of everything.

Side note: I went grocery shopping today, and only 3 people I counted gave me the "Oh how cute she's pregnant so she has to waddle like a penguin" look.

Listen up, people. This is not the "I'm pregnant so I have to waddle" walk. THIS is the "Oh my achin' butt why did I run for my life I would have rather broken something" walk.


Were there until after dark and every minute that passed was one more minute that calf went without eating. But, he's alive!!

It took Chester a full day to be comfortable enough in his surroundings to eat. We're on day 3 of being in the world now, and he is eating
just fine!!

I think the slobber is proof enough...

Delicious ain't it? Wanna see it again?

How about from a different angle?

Every time D steps outside that calf bawls his head off. Thanks to the Sorters, the Stokes, and the Richins, we were able to gather everything we needed for him the first night without having to hit up the feed stores... they were closed by the time we left Karl and Rose's place anyways. : P

The next day we bought replacement colostrum and he drank it.


Our hope is to keep him alive long enough for him to grow big... and meaty... and... and...

I gotta stop. I'm drooling.

For now, I will love him and scratch his ears. I will giggle when he butts D for more milk. I will let him suck on my finger and
love his soft, squishy nose. And I will forget that he will be huge and mean before I know it.

For now... all is well in Zion. And in the Cherry House.


  1. He is pretty cute. I am not a fan of farm animals though. In fact my brother-in-law got a female pig to have babies and she is huge and growled at me. I didn't know pigs growled.

  2. MISS Laura Shayne... I am just sitting here SO completely enthralled and just tickled pink. You and our Leah and your momma have such an entirely captivating way of writing that I am always sad to get to the end of the post... and then I have to go back and read it again to be sure that I didn't miss any of that wholesome goodness. I love every bit of this post-- except for the part about you getting hurt, of course-- and I would like to be your editor when the time comes to publish The Adventures of the Newbury Girls. :) God bless you girls, your boys, and your critters!