(June 27, 2010)
From the driveway patio,
I have the best seat in the house,
for I am the only one witnessing the scenes
on the screen in front of me:
Mr. Mockingbird on top of the telephone pole,
graciously sharing an afternoon concert, or sermon perhaps, that I take in
while the rest of the world seems oblivious to his (incessant) chirping.
("Pretty bird, pretty bird, pretty bird...be a bird, be a bird, be a bird....
and an occasional "SQUAWK" when he comes to an emotional moment.
I've counted about 20 different songs in his afternoon repertoire.)
As hummingbirds whiz about in all directions
and cats snooze at my feet,
our cow neighbors come into view in the upper field -
slowly, steadily, patiently making their
way back toward the barn down the lane.
I listen to the grinding of their teeth
as they chew their cud
and hear an occasional bovine belch,
indicating satisfaction with the field's fare.
There's a rhythm and drone to their
yanking the grass out of the ground
and subsequent chomping.
One pees; another poops.
Not one seems bothered by anything.
Occasionally, a mom will look up to see if
her calf's close by, shifting a glance my
way to check out this zany human
who's peering at her through her
(I think cows are beautiful and interesting...not nearly so dumb
as some people think. The hair at the base of their ears is as
soft as cotton.)
As the breeze picks up a bit,
rustling the leaves and swaying the treetops,
one mama realizes her baby's not in sight.
She bellows loudly...once, twice, three times...
followed by anticipation of a response.
There's a brief silence.....and then,
from behind the pines,
I hear a cry of relief from the little one who's
heard his mom's voice and can discern her location.
(I remember when Samuel
responded to my calls one afternoon when
he was little and had lost his way in the back woods.)
the less-than-week-old brown calf comes
stumbling across the field....
He's definitely out of breath.
(The rest of the herd has stopped, as well,
to make sure he's OK.)
I totally understand what's taking
place....I've have felt Mama Cow's
momentary panic....and I've
felt her relief at having her calf
back at her side. I've witnessed the release of fear on his face
when a little one realizes he's OK...)
A happy ending before I drift off
for an afternoon nap.