I love my job, I’m lucky that way. Especially in the early morning: I always enjoy my quiet time before anyone else gets in. The barn is dark and quiet and I canÂ whisper good morning, listening to the soft (and not so soft) greetings in return.
This past Tuesday turned out to be a particularly special morning. CAS
had recently taken in a pregnant mare in less thanÂ wonderful shape. We knew she was due soon, so we were bringing her into the barn at night and turning her out during the day. It was looking like it was time to start a night time vigil to wait for the birth. While we were excited, we were also concerned because of the mare’s advanced age, her condition, and the fact that she’d lost a foal the previous year.
All this was going through my mind as I came down the driveway, making plans for the day. As I pulled up to the barn, I saw Lumpy, oneÂ of our free-range sheep, outside the barn doors.
“Now that’s odd,” I said to myself. Lumpy is never outside the barn before I get there. I walked into the kitchen, where Lucy the cat demanded breakfast. I gave the cats a quick meal, and walkedÂ into the barnÂ toÂ check on Lady Jane, our mama-to-be.Â Â As I walked towards her stall, she was looking at me with what I can only describe as relief.
“Good morning,” I said as I approached, peering into the stall.
Oh my! Against her pale grey side, I saw the dark foal. He took a shaky step toward me, and I saw the star on his forehead. I stood for a moment, taking in the scene and quite literally feeling my chest swell with joy. I opened the stall door slowly, talking softly to Lady Jane, and walked toward them, first running my hands down Jane’s neck and then reaching out to the foal.
Jane was calm as the baby took a step to me and gently sucked on my fingers. I stroked his neck and felt his silky coat, already clean and dry. I looked the pair of them over quickly–both seemed fine, but I knew I needed more light to really check them out. I ran to the kitchenÂ to grab a flashlight and to call “Stevens,”Â our founder. Â I was actually bouncing up and down as I waited for her to pick up.
“We have a baby!”Â was all I said, and then held the phone away from my ear as sheÂ screamed in joy–once, then twice, then again.
“Give her a warm bran mash,” she suggested, and said she’d be here soon.
Â As Lady Jane chowed down, I checked the pair more carefully and saw no obvious problems.
Only a few hours old, the little boy looked at me with dark, trusting eyes. So beautiful!Â All legs and knees with a dark silky coat.Â He nursed with gusto,Â then floppedÂ down for a nap.
I stroked Lady Jane’s face and neck and promised her I would not let anyone hurt her or her baby. I thought aboutÂ how lucky he was to be born at CAS
, whereÂ he will be loved and cared for, and where humans who believe that all of us are entitled to joy will ensure that his future will be filled with joy
…not pain, not subjugation, not servitude. IÂ could have stood there all day but I had a farm to feed.
TwelveÂ hours later,Â the vet had checked mom andÂ baby out and declared them healthy.Â I pulled out of the drivewayÂ to head home. And I thought as I turned the corner:Â I love my job. I’m lucky that way.