It’s sad, but life on the farm is like that

Jerry Kitt

We were like expectant parents; Buttercup our milk cow was very pregnant. We kept watching for signs of the upcoming event. One sign we didn’t expect was her loss of appetite for oats, her favourite. That told me something was wrong.

The vet was summoned and later confirmed that the calf was breech and dead. Buttercup never did recover from her difficult delivery and after numerous attempts to nurse her back to health, she died a week later.

No animal on the farm receives as much attention and appreciation as a milk cow. Every day she was there, her flank a spot to rest your forehead during the meditation of morning milking. She nourished many, many people. Buttercup was six years old.

I was thinking about braking, something motorists thoughtlessly do all the time. There is a difference between country braking and city braking. Out here when you pass an oncoming vehicle, chances are it is someone you know. Always slowing down to prevent the impact from gravel, the first thing to check as the vehicle passes are their brake lights. That is the sign that tells if the driver is on a mission or wants to chat. “On” means to stop, put the car in reverse and roll down the window.

Conversations can go on for a long time and when a third vehicle approaches (if it’s a neighbour with no time to chat) they’ll pull over and drive along the ditch as not to disturb the conversation. Sometimes they’ll stop too so the one in the middle rolls down the passenger window for a three-way conversation. One time the chatting kept going long enough that a campfire was in order; we built it right in the middle of the road. Not a problem.

Life is like that in Goodfare. Expect the unexpected. I didn’t expect that we would be repairing the bison fence by the creek that afternoon but some critter had broken some wires and popped the fencing staples from the posts.

An hour or so later with the fencing project nearly completed we were distracted by some unusual sounds coming from the creek.

Muskrats? Beavers? What we didn’t expect to see was a family of four river otters playing in the water.

They watched us for several minutes before they got bored and left. A rare sight! Hopefully they’ll stick around and we can visit again.