I am listening to the rain and the sound of a very uncomfortable mare, whinnying for her foal. Yesterday, around 6pm our older foal (two weeks old) was running and bucking and circling and jumping like they do when he caught his hoof, somersaulted, was clearly not okay. I was to him in seconds and wrapped my arms around him and held him up and as I supported his right front leg, I could see it was broken, dangling between his knee and hoof. I called the vet, there in the field hunched over my little colt. And then I yelled. Mike was coming, but not answering his phone and I needed help to hold my little guy up and steady. “Help, Help me!” I screamed. In a few minutes neighbors came and helped me support him until we could gently lay him down. After Mike arrived, he cradled the colt’s head in his lap, neighbors helped hold his legs and I ran to get a blanket to support the broken leg. I will spare you the next twelve hours, but in the end we had him put down. And so he is laying in straw in the pasture, with is mama and aunt and cousin nearby, next to the barn so his mama can get used to the idea he is gone.
It took 1 and half weeks to find the right names for our two colts. Late last Friday night, the second colt arrived in the moonlight at 12:30 a.m.
That was Bad Baby, with his crooked broken tail that was always pink because he’d scratch his bum on the side of the red barn. His little foal halter was red to match Ginger’s red halter. He’d race around like he was in the derby, circling the apple trees, bucking for fun. he’d skid to a halt almooost touching the electric fence, buck, and be off again! Twice he got zapped by the fence for trying to duck his nose under the fence to drink out of the barn downspout in a rain storm.
Last weekend when he was only a week old, he and Ginger had to be out on pasture all night since Gailan had just had her foal that morning and she was not ready to share the space in the stall. I was worried sick, Bad Baby was only a week old and even though he had a fuzzy, curly, thick coat it was raining so very hard.
I keep breaking down into tears, listening to Ginger call Merry to come and nurse. She nuzzles him and then walks away, yet I know this too shall pass. Her udders will dry up and she will be sad but she has her sister, Gailan and the Pippin for herd mates. We are all heart broken about the freak nature of the accident and how quickly this all came about. Yet I am also very grateful that I saw it happen, that I was able to get to him immediately, and that we did all we could do. No second guesses, no self reproach, he is gone and that’s that.
Life on a farm can be so very beautiful, but all life goes hand in hand with death.
The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.