Cathy takes the halfcalf – straddles him, prises open his teeth with one hand and inserts the teat. She shuggles the bottle and strokes his throat feeling for the movement that signifies a swallow.
‘ There’s one. There’s a big one – goo-oo-od boy’ she croons.
He should be sucking the bottle dry in seconds, as he should clear his mother’s swollen bag – but neither is attractive or necessary to him. Squeeze the milk in, force him to swallow. Squueeze and swallow – Cathy is finding the same rhythm that I adopted with this strange small animal
with the the suicidal yearning for adulthood.
Across the yard, Caroline and Mike are working on Moira- one each side, drawing down the milk: to relieve her and ensure a fund of nutrition for the wee man in case we are unable or unwilling to milk her tomorrow.
I have friends who engage seamlessly with the life of the farm, treating my processes as a challenge, an adventure.
In truth this is not so different from the way I treat them.
My routines are one short step away from experiments. My chores simply improvised stratagems repeated.
All can change, improve –
I am no authority.
Keep it simple.
The water trough needs cleaning: when the girls come in tonight,
they will have clear water to drink.