If the phrase was ever true that a picture is worth a thousand words then the picture above says more than I ever can in this post. To say that my middle daughter is an animal lover is like saying that Jesus kinda did some cool things for people – it would be a gross understatement. She absolutely adores animals, but has also come to understand their purpose on our farm. She knows that we raise cattle for food, hunt deer for meet, and that pigs too are best when grilled or bar-B-Qed.
But that does not stop her from helping make sure all the calves and cattle get their vaccines and vet checks, that the momma cows have all the food her Daddy will let them have (she would feed them and me out of house and home), and that everyone is well on our farm. Already she has good eyes to tell if an animal is not coming up fast enough for their supper, or limping, or has an injury that needs her Daddy to fix.
Then, we get to how she is with the horses, dogs, and cats. I am very glad we live on a farm or I would have every stray dog and cat in three counties at my house. But I digress, I meant to talk about her finding the colt on our farm.
Here is the story, a friend of ours had to go out of town right when his mare was due to raise her colt. So, knowing of Brian and Roy’s experience with horses and of Brie’s love of horses – he ask if we would horse sit while he was gone. Well, Brie took this to heart and began checking on his horse three to five times a day. Late, one night, after my older daughters dance recital was finished and the rest of us were tucked in bed, she and her Daddy went one more time to check “her horse” for a colt, and under a full moon, Brie and Brian’s patience paid off and they found a little stud colt. Brie was not as wild about having to hold him,and give him a tetanus shot and dip his umbilical cord but she stayed right with Brian and I (oh yes, there was the quick side trip back to the house to wake up Mommy – the doctor aka vet to assist with the medical stuff) as we took care of all the post birth well colt care.
Once, we were back at the house though the questions began. “Mommy, how did the colt get inside the momma horse?” “What was that stuff you called afterbirth?” You should have seen my Farmer Boy hubby squirm at those – but with understanding of her curiosity, and at a level for her age, I answered the best I could. And then I explained to my hubby, as she lives on a farm and sometimes spends all day helping him with Artificial insemination of cattle or drawing blood to pregnancy check our cows – of course she has questions about reproduction. Now, she has taken to wanting to be responsible for all the squirrel dogs (aka Mt. Curr Dog’s) on the farm, even as far as their breeding and keeping up with who is “in heat” for her Daddy on her iPod calendar – it’s my opinion that she deserves the best answers to her questions that I can give, before her friends answer them for me.
My Farmer Boy Husband’s approach of avoiding any issue that has to do with our girls growing up and changing into young women is funny to me as a woman and a doctor. Especially, when he, as a farmer, spends most of his day on our farm worrying about when or whether something is pregnant or needs to be. So, after talking about how wonderful baby Silver (the colt) is and the facts of life, we tucked in Brie with bedtime prayers – and my prayers were about how thankful I am to get to raise my kids this way, with this loving man – Even when he turns squeamish about the facts of life – I guess that is why God made both Mommies and Daddies to answer little questions late at night.