Selasa, 15 Maret 2011

Caretakers of the Planet

Not too long ago I settled into my car (almost said "jumped" but that would be misleading) and headed into town, probably to go to the library or walk someone's dog or drop something in the mail. That part doesn't matter. Arriving at the first and only stop sign, about 3/4 mile from here, I saw a truck at the end of a long driveway, aka lane. In it was the man who owns the property. He seemed to be lingering, perhaps just waiting for me to stop and go. OK, I could do that. Admittedly sometimes I coast and go but this time I did the full stop. As I looked over and gave him the country folks wave I noticed there was a young goat behind his vehicle.

Well, in spite of the chill in the air, it was nice enough for a young goat to be out and about, briefly. It seems odd that the end of the lane was where he was though. So I rolled down my winda (window to many of you) and said to the guy, "There's a goat behind your truck!" Now, I have no idea what he heard other than that it was not enough and I received a "Huh-what?" back. More loudly I exclaimed something similar and began gesturing. We repeated this till he got the point.

It was his kid all right. Kid, as in young goat, that is. He had no idea it was following him as a pet dog might run behind a pick up, to the end of the lane. The goat may have even gone into the road, who knows. Clearly it was "attached" to the guy! Maybe this old goat was the only parent this kid had ever known.

This week there are new calves showing up in the pastures. Sadly one new baby had managed to get across a downed fence and into a plowed cornfield. Mom had followed and was shielding the calf from straying too far.

Once again I was headed to town for some mundane task but first I pulled into the farm to tell them they had a cow and calf loose. No one was home. No sense in leaving a note. About all I could do was hope someone who knew the herd came along and "shoo'd" them back in place and fixed the fence. Late that evening I noticed neither was standing in the cornfield. It's hard to tell who was who in the grazing herd. Gotta hope the coyotes didn't get the baby. Oh, I know they have to eat too but, please, not a brand new calf. 

Circumstances and nature create memorable and sometimes bittersweet stories. Quirky critters pop up every so often and we notice it most in our pets. But out in the country, if we take the time to observe, we see other of God's creatures making their way in the world. Most often it is the undomesticated or non-farm animals but at times it's the stray goat or calf. Makes me realize that we do need to take good care of this earth for all who reside here.

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