Growing up, I feared my Grandpa and revered him at the same time. The first time I remember crying was when Grandpa told me I had done something wrong. From what I remember, he didn’t have to say much but the tone in his voice and the look he gave was frightening.
At the same time I knew that he was a good man, an honest man. It didn’t take long for me to figure that out by the way people talked about him, even when he wasn’t around. Those stories and seeing my Grandpa doing things for others without a second thought will never leave my memory and I try to live the same way he has. Those silent lessons have been invaluable.
Now that I am a man and father of two I can say, somewhat jokingly, that Grandpa is also pretty nuts. In the days of his life where he should be taking it easy or seeing other parts of the world, he is working cattle. After you see the picture below you might say the cattle are working him.
He knows just about all 50 of them by name or markings and he has his favorite one or two of the bunch like most livestock guys I know.
Last week, when Mother Nature offered up another round of polar vortex awesomeness, one of the cows gave birth to a heifer calf and didn’t care much for her. It didn’t take Grandpa long to notice and did something a bit out of the ordinary.
I should mention that last week my Grandma was in Florida getting thawed out a bit, otherwise this story would have never happened.
Grandpa took that calf (named her Ferdinand by the way) and a bale of straw and headed to the basement. It is always a balmy 115 degrees down there with the wood burner continuously at full throttle. That sacred place is reserved for the kid’s table during the Holidays, Grandpa’s reading/nap headquarters and now for calves.
Every once in a while I will hear someone say that farmers don’t care for their animals. I have a picture to prove otherwise.