Welcome, everyone! Last week’s story seemed to be a mind game as only one person guessed right. It was FICTION. Yeah, I wish it had been true. I’ve always wanted to stay in a big fancy haunted house but I haven’t. One person, Bill, did pick up that the main character grew up in a place that was haunted, just as I did. So good on you, Bill! Unfortunately, that was the only truth in the whole story and really, I didn’t put it there intentionally. Just seemed a good addition to the story.
Now let’s get going on the next edition of Truth or Fiction. Is it true or a figment of my imagination?
Giving a Helping Hand
Her dog Molly kept pacing the living room and whining. She shushed her once but the pacing just got more frantic. What on earth was wrong with the dog? Molly was usually such a good companion and would lay quietly at her feet but not today. She’d never get those columns of numbers added right with Molly distracting her.
“What is it, Molly? What’s wrong?”
Molly faced the front door and whined. Maybe she needed to go out? Sighing heavily, she pushed herself out of her chair and opened the front door. The sunshine blinded her for a minute and the heat of the afternoon surrounded her, making her instantly regret leaving the air conditioning behind as the door closed behind her.
She hoped Molly wouldn’t take too long to finish her personal business as she needed to get those numbers added and the account books finished for her favorite client. Accounting paid the bills and playing with numbers was always fun.
She smiled as she looked around for Molly. The countryside was brown and dry but the trees still showed a bit of green. This summer had been unduly hot and dry and the usual beauty of the surrounding fields and trees were dulled with brown grasses slowly dying of thirst. She moved to the country after her divorce. It was just her and Molly, her German Shepherd and constant companion. She enjoyed the quiet of the country after the heartbreak she endured in the city last year. Here, she was able to heal and even grow happy again. Just her and Molly.
Thinking of Molly…where was she? Looking around her ears finally picked up the sound of a cow lowing. She knew a ranch owned the fields next to her and they ran cows on them. She had to teach Molly not to be afraid of the cows when she first moved here. Now Molly usually ignored them. They weren’t fun to play with. As she scanned the field for Molly the mooing of the cow seemed more frantic. Almost painful.
Under a large tree, she spotted Molly, once again frantically pacing back and forth in front of a large mound. No, wait, it wasn’t just a mound it was a heifer. She was laying down and making those awful, pain filled mooing sounds. She called for Molly but the dog refused to leave the cow’s side. Something must be wrong, she thought. Molly was acting frantic and the sounds coming from the cow were almost sounding like screams.
Scrabbling over the wooden fence dividing her front yard from the field she ran to where Molly and cow were. What she saw made her suck in her breath and widen her eyes. The cow was laying on her side, her belly swollen huge with pregnancy. She could see the distress in the cows’ eyes as she once again let out that distressing moo/scream. Even to her untrained eye, she could see the heifer was trying to deliver her calf but something was wrong.
She needed to call someone. Who? She couldn’t just leave the poor suffering animal to die. Something was wrong with the birth and she needed help desperately. When the cow gave another loud moo and turned her head to look at her, she could see the pleading in its eyes. She needed to do something fast. The cow didn’t have time to wait for someone. She needed help now!
“Think girl, think! What should I do?”
Then she remembered an article she read a long time ago. When she was much younger she thought about becoming a vet and so she read anything she could on animal care and what should be done if a dog was having a breech birth. She was certain this is what was happening to the cow. The calf needed to be turned so it could come out the right way.
She thought, “Well, a birth is a birth, it can’t be that different from a dog could it?”
Racing back to the house she wondered what she could use as a lubricant. She needed to stick her hand inside the cow and turn the calf. It wasn’t going to be easy but she had to try. Coming to stop inside the kitchen she frantically looked around. Butter? She didn’t have enough. Her eye fell on the brand new bottle of dishwashing liquid. That would make her hand slippery! She grabbed the bottle and a spare bath towel she had left over the kitchen chair earlier that day and sped back to the cow and Molly.
Molly hadn’t left the cow’s side. It was as if she knew what was going on and knew the cow needed her. Molly laid next to the cow and whined comfort to it.
“Good girl Molly. You keep comforting her while I see what I can do on this end.”
Taking a deep breath she quickly opened the bottle of dishwashing soap and spread a thick layer over her arms and hands. She tried to ignore the large strong hoofs and the sticky puddle of blood as she slowly shoved one hand into the cow. She could feel the calf and yes she had guessed right. It was a breech birth. The calf needed to be turned. It should come out head and front feet first and this one was turned just enough it wasn’t coming out that way.
She was going to need both hands to turn the calf. She wasn’t strong enough one-armed to do it. The cow seemed to know she was trying to help as the mooing stopped and the cow lay still, only once lifting her head to look at her. As if saying, “You can do this.”
Slipping her other arm inside she managed to find the front legs and grasp them. She didn’t need to move them far just a few inches to the side to line them up to the opening so hopefully, the mother had enough energy to push it out.
She felt the head and the front legs and gave a tug on the legs. At first, she didn’t think it was going to work, but then with one great effort, the mother cow pushed while she tugged and suddenly she had a newborn calf in her lap. She took the bath towel and wiped the gunk from the calf’s eyes, nostrils and mouth so it could breathe. Normally, the mother did this but this mother was too tired and so appreciated the help.
She didn’t know she was crying until Molly came over and first licked her tears then started to lick the calf. Those had to have been the most intense, emotional minutes of her life. She dragged the calf who was laying on the towel over to the mother’s head to show her that her baby was alive and well. The mom started licking it and making snuffling sounds.
“Come on Molly. We still need to call the rancher and let him know what happened so he can check up on mother and baby. Plus I need a shower.”
Later that day the rancher stopped by to thank her for helping the cow and to let her know that both were healthy and fit.
“Well, Molly. A good deed was done today. Let’s just hope there will be no repeat!”
Ok, folks. Was this based on truth? Or was it a complete piece of fiction? What would you have done if you came across an animal in need like in the story?