I went over to the farm tonight to feed the cows, and as I drove up the road, I could see one cow way back in the corner of the pasture. When I got into the barnyard, I could see it was one of the Herefords, which could only mean one thing-she'd had a calf. Sure enough, I walked back there, and she had a little bull calf standing beside her on this little two foot wide muddy flat spot up against the fence, right beside a slope down into a washout with about a foot of standing water in it. This was approximately four feet from where I found a two-day old calf frozen in the washout two months ago. I tried picking up the calf to get him away from the standing water, but I only made it 10 feet. So I went over to mom and dad's to get some supper and regroup.
The cow and calf were about 300 yards from the barn, and it was just too soft to drive anything back there. My "best" idea was to get a tarp out of the barn, put the calf on it, and drag him up to the barn, to get him out of the wind and let him warm up (and keep him from falling down in the washout or the manure pit or something). This worked marginally well. I would get him going 30 or 40 yards, catch my breath, then he'd stand up and wander off, or his mom would come up to check on him and stand on the tarp. I'd have to catch him and throw him back on the tarp, or shoo her away and get started dragging him again. I felt like Holling on Northern Exposure, when he paid a farmer to pull a horse-drawn plow for him. After about a dozen stops, and a massive amount of profanity, I finally got him up to the barn, packed into some straw, and then shooed his mom into the barn with him. He was pretty beat, and I wasn't much better myself. I figure if he's alive on Friday he'll probably make it.
I looked around for a video clip of Holling pulling the plow, but I couldn't find it. I did find this clip, however, which reminds me why I loved that show. In it, Holling had returned to school because he'd dropped out when he was a kid, and the teacher makes him read his essay to the class: