May 7, 2011

"Finish Strong" 
Look up in the top window - yes, he is in fact smiling.

We were scheduled to say good-bye to Corvin at the end of the month.
He and several of his friends were putting together a presentation for the  upcoming Human Rights Convention in Switzerland and needed time to prepare.
But an unexpected call from his father in Hanover, Germany telling him that his grandparents and brother were going to be able to come for Easter, made it necessary (and desirable) for him to leave in time to be there with all his family for the holiday.
He hurried to finish up the last few projects that we had planned, one of which was emptying the top floor of the old threshing barn.
It took an entire day and he pronounced the number of nails he had extracted in the process as

But there was one project waiting for him during his last night on the farm that none of us could have ever anticipated.
Remember in the last post where I said that the calving experience also involves inspiration?
Here's the proof:

I had gone in one day to load the furnace in the pannrum near the young animal barn. 
 As I stood there I had the feeling that I should go through the adjacent carpentry and look in the window of the young animal barn where we had two young heifers tied up in a stall.
They were not ready to have their babies yet (we thought) so they were double-stalled in there.
When I did, to my complete shock, one of them was in labor and struggling.
I was home alone.
I had a swift word of prayer, got my barn boots and ran into the barn where I quickly loosed the other heifer (the one who wasn't in labor) and got her moved out of that stall and into the one next door.
Then I scraped down the birthing stall and filled it with soft, clean straw.
Finally, I loosed the struggling heifer so she could lie down, and in answer to my prayers, almost immedidately, both Gustav and Corvin came home.
I was mighty glad to see them,
(and so was the laboring heifer.)

This was the first baby for this heifer and it was turned the wrong way.  Instead of the front hooves coming first, the back hooves were already partially delivered. It took brute strength on the part of both Gustav and Corvin to try and pull the baby out each time they saw the mother push. They had to be incredibly careful not to injure the mother in the process and that meant they had to also be incredibly patient.  This was a longgggg, slowwwww, process.

After several hours of this we didn't think there was any chance that the baby could possibly survive.  Our primary aim was to help the mother as much as we could.
But when it finally came out of the exhausted mother, to our complete amazement,
it was alive!
The boys carried it right over to the mother who lifted her head, sniffed around a little and began to clean it all up.
Such a miracle!
Both Corvin and Gustav took a tender moment and petted up the new mother for the great job she had done.

It had been quite an experience for everyone.
We went to bed that night dead tired and with very mixed feelings.
We knew we had done all we could and that the baby was living and the mother was taking care of it the way she should.
But we wondered if it would be OK in the end result.
Such a trauma makes it very difficult for the newborn calf and there is so much that can happen no matter how gentle and careful we try to be.

We needn't have worried...
When we got to the barn just a few hours later the next morning, we found this spunky little character cleaned up and prancing all over the stall,
and she was a girl!

After a night like that, with all that had gone on, we really had to rush in the morning to make the early bus on time for Corvin to get the connection in Sollefteå that would take him on his way home to Germany.
There wasn't the time we thought we would have to tell him that we had loved having him so much that we hated to say good-bye.
But we hoped he knew it. 
I am told that this post would not be complete without one more addition:

During Corvin's stay with us there was a fair amount of goofing around between him and Gustav.
This is a picture of Gustav pinning Corvin down in the freezing snow and rubbing it all over his face outside the barn.
At the beginning I worried about incidents like this, knowing that Gustav has a lot of physical strength from his years on the farm and wondering if it was unfair to someone who hasn't had the same developmental opportunities.

Rest assured that I have come to understand that there is more than a little Karma at work here in situations like these.

A. Gustav smashed Corvin into the snow and washed his face with it,
(end of subject).
B. Corvin, with his wealth of technical knowledge of every gadget, phone, computer, ipod, etc:

Changed the language on Gustav's mobile phone so he couldn't use it,
(I'm sure they heard the wailing from Gustav all the way to Junsele)
Muted Gustav's ipod with a code so that when he got on the school bus in the morning for the hour-long ride, he couldn't hear anything,
(THAT was a golden moment)
Waited until one of Gustav's building days at school and set the volume control on his MP3 to medium and coded it again so that when the loud woodshop machines were going at school Gustav couldn't hear any of his music,
(...getting the picture?...)
 I didn't have to be concerned about Corvin's ability to keep up with the pranks.

Auf Wiedersehen Corvin,
Vi älskar dig!

1 comment:

Louise said...

That is FUNNY!!! (the pranks on Gustav!) Love Louise