The Captain dropped off a half cord of firewood today. It was nothing I had asked for.
Since I had nothing better to do I asked him if he could use a hand.
"Why not?" was his reply.
His utility vehicle conveniently carries a half facecord of firewood. Once again I marveled at the Captain's ability to look at the scantest bit of physical evidence and deduce the story leading up to it.
He pointed at old, senile trees and said "There is a 'coon denning in that tree."
Then he would point to the very faintest scratches in the bark beneath the hole that gave the animal access to the hollow trunk. "Possum don't have claws that will do that." he told me.
We were heading back for the third load when he brought the gator to a screeching halt. "How did that hussy have a calf with me not knowing?" he exclaimed.
Then he scrambled beneath the live, electric fence...the man is sixty-four... and approached the seemingly dead calf.
The calf gave the tiniest wiggle of an ear. The calf was too chilled to stand.
"Well, Joe. I guess we are done cutting wood for today."
He scooted the UTV back to the barn. Turned off the electric fence. Put the calf into the back of the empty gator. Slowly idled his way back to the barn, slowly enough so mama cow could follow. Put the calf on a pad of dried straw. Fed the calf a half gallon of warmed colostrum while mama watched.
The Captain was concerned because it did not look like mama had bagged up and he was not sure she had milk.
The future is looking much brighter for that calf. That first full belly of milk and warm, dry ground that is out of the wind makes all the difference when you are hours old, 80 pounds and still damp. The weatherman is predicting a low of 19F tonight.
One thing about the Captain. He stays busy. He has a date tonight with his granddaughter. They are going out to eat and then to watch Special Olympics.