Late morning I noticed that she broke out of the barn and headed out to pasture with the rest of the herd. I didn't rush out to get her because I had laundry to deal with and presents to wrap and dishes to wash and woodstove to load. I figured the kids could check on her after school when they hayed.
Patrick rushed in, very excited.
"Coco broke out of the stall because she wanted to have her baby out in the pasture!"
"What?" Things didn't compute for me right away.
"I need you to come help me get them to the barn, we have a BABY!"
We trudged out and I was thankful that the temperatures were in the high twenties instead of the teens with wind. Of course she was at the very far corner of the property. And had no intentions of letting anyone get near her baby.
Coco is an excellent mother. Protective. Careful.
We feared for our bodies there for a minute, but figured a way for Patrick to get the "little" thing slung over his shoulders for the dark hike to the barn. Mama and baby are tucked in. Coco is tucking into some grain. Baby has been attempting to nurse and is lively. A sweet, fawn-colored little girl.
After some of the hard things we have experienced over the past year, I feel almost afraid to get excited about this sweet little thing, afraid something could go wrong, which is a real possibility. I think I will choose to be delighted about the beginning of the season of new life on the farm. How appropriate for the day after winter solstice. I think I will take it as a good sign.
Light and life, born into darkness. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?
And glory, hallelujah, we can now hopefully anticipate the season of MILK. And cream. And butter.
PS Patrick and I enjoyed hanging out in the barn watching new baby and mama get acquainted with each other. We laughed nervously as Coco looked like she was going to run us into the ground if we got anywhere near little one. We both reminisced about last year's births and how Carmelita got chilled and couldn't nurse. Philip took care of her singlehandedly. He figured out a way to milk fierce Coco and get the baby fed and warmed and made her live. In the middle of the night. One of the cold nights with wind in and temperatures in the teens.
I was so proud of him.
I still don't know how he did it, but that act was one of the things that impressed me more than just about anything, the way he took care of Coco and Carmelita. He was so happy. I am glad I have that good memory.