26th November 2012
One is the loneliest number
And that’s exactly what dear little Blossom was. All alone in a paddock she lay, her big brown bug eyes bulging out from under the longest white eyelashes as she stretched her head and neck skyward. A moo, as feeble as it was innocent, escaped as she cried out for a mummy who would never return. As the mercury climbed, so too did the concern of a Good Samaritan whose heart and ears heard the pleading calls of the tiny week old calf. Determined to not bear witness to the painfully slow death of an innocent creature, a call was made to the farmer. “You can have ‘er, she’s no use to me,” came the gruff reply. Bundling up the precious brown and white girl who still smelled of her mother’s milk, Blossom was one step closer to a life worth living.
If the farmer’s voice was steely and cold, the next voice the Good Samaritan was to hear was gentle and welcoming. Sanctuary at Edgar’s Mission was to become the next chapter in the life of Blossom. With her severely sunburnt nose and pleading eyes fixed upon us, the words, “How could anyone deprive this baby of its mother?” rolled from our lips as our hearts and actions raced to combat Blossom’s dehydration.
Offering Blossom a special formula in what would seem to her a most unlikely looking udder, we apologised that we were not her mummy but assured her we would do our very best to be the finest mother for her we could. We whispered that we would ensure she would never again be the loneliest number.
If nature has her way, the bond between a cow and her calf is very strong and continues after the calf is fully grown. Mother cows are fiercely protective of their young; some will even nurse their calves for up to 3 years. But sadly, so few are given the chance. Dairy calves are separated shortly after birth so the mother’s milk can be harvested for human consumption, while beef calves like Blossom are generally weaned at 8-10 months of age. But for Blossom, there will be no separation from her new friends as she finds fields to conquer and dreams to live out as her life blooms into all it should be.
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