I still had some shopping to do on Christmas Eve, when my family traveled to visit Aunt Ethel in the nursing home, and finish shopping. So, we’re at the Dillard’s in the mall, and I’ve just crossed one thing off my list of stuff to get, when Dad gets a call from Jon (he’d stayed home) saying five cows drowned in one of our pasture ponds. Dad was beside himself, and it just didn’t seem right to continue shopping (even though we knew there was nothing we could do) when such a tragedy happened at home.
I went out with Dad to survey the damage, and it was the worst thing I’ve seen on the farm. Large lumps of brown or black fur stuck in the frozen surface of the pond. We could tell what happened. Tuesday night brought about three inches of snow, and it covered the pond, probably giving the cows some sort of assurance about crossing it. But, the surface wasn’t strong enough. Our best bull, Hook, went down, as did a couple first-calf heifers (the most valuable thing besides Hook), a few other mama cows, and two calves. The total we counted later was actually 8. We just couldn’t see them all on the surface.
Bad thing: Probably $15,000 of damage. That was the only number dad could see when he got the call.
Good thing about all this: Dad had insurance on the livestock this year (he doesn’t always buy it!).
Thank you, God!