Thursday, 6 March 2014

Training Complete by Susan L.

    I am now a certified First Aid and CPR responder. It's something I had wanted to do but never got around to doing. Thankfully, work provided the opportunity. There's been lots of experience though. You don't live on a farm with a large amount of animals without learning how to recognize things like broken bones or how to handle major lacerations or other wounds. Even the brief section on emergency childbirth brought back the experiences of many new lives being brought into this world. That was the best part of farming when everything went well: two front feet and a nose came first.
  It was precious watching the mothers with their young. Most of the time they had a natural instinct that lead them into successful motherhood. Each critter had its own maternal call that was different from their regular conversational moo or baa. They would gently clean their offspring, sing to them their mother's song, and had this amazed look in their eye, "Wow, this is my baby! Beautiful!"
  The ones who complained the most during labour were the goats but they are sissies when it comes to any kind of discomfort. Everyone else just took it in stride although when the cows were nine months pregnant and getting close to delivery, you could tell by the moans and groans they were tired of hauling the extra hundred pounds around. I used to give the ladies back rubs which they thoroughly enjoyed. Part of that was because when they went into labour, they trusted me being nearby in case they or the calf needed help. Any new mother that big can be dangerous to humans if they feel their baby is in danger.
  Sometimes the mothers didn't have a clue especially if it was their first time being a mom. They would spin around, wanting to see their baby, not realizing that milk was at the other end. The babies knew it was there somewhere and would be very persistent in the chase for breakfast despite their wobbly legs. They brought many a smile to my face as they learned which leg came first. Eventually their mother would stand still with an awed expression on her face as the first sloppy slurps meant success. "Hey! That feels good!"
  Most of the births took place between January and March. Only in hindsight do I question that decision. It was something we could control. It meant life was extra hard for everyone. It meant twenty-four hour vigilance. Cold is a quick killer. Still, being up at the barn dressed in two pair of socks inside heavy winter boots, long johns, layers of clothing and an artic rated snow suit as I froze my nether regions off was worth it. Being able to witness these miracles or help in times of trouble was a job I'll never forget.
  Even if there wasn't always a happy ending I learned skills that have served me well: things like patience, waiting, and most importantly I learned how to be still, calm and quiet for considerable lengths of time. Those abilities have transferred over into my Christian life and have served me well in prayer, in art and in writing. It's all about the "Selah".
  "A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." Prov 12:10


  1. I didn't know goats were sissies! LOL Somehow I pictured an animal that will eat practically anything as rather hardy.

  2. Good for you. Congrats! No education is wasted and these skills will be so useful for you and others. Keep up the good work.