First Calf


Courthill, Buittle – 14/5/20

The first calf came in a swirl of frost and heavy breathing; a mix and a mongrel calf with half a belt and something of a rigg. This cow rolled the same genetic dice last year and came up with something different. Then it was black, and now it’s a muddle so the new boy is a smiling reminder that you never can tell.

I sat with them for half an hour this morning and watched the sun over the sea and the bursty crenellations of whinn flowers and skylarks. Shelducks gabbled in the glen, and the other cows came cautious to find the newcomer. They snuffed and rasped the child as it lay, and sheets of red cleanings hung from the mother like a change in bed-linen.


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