Hubby put a loop of rope around one of those huge hooves and told me: "Here, grab hold."
The cow just continued to lay there, and would look around at us occasionally, but she was too busy at the moment to really worry about us. Hubby and I dug in our heels and pulled, except that our hands started to slip on the rope. So hubby told me to keep up a steady pull while he went and got a stick. He put the stick in the loop on our end and we both caught hold of that and pulled.
We could see the nose just barely sticking out and the tongue would flicker occasionally so we knew we had caught a live one, but it was like pulling on a boulder. Progress was measured by centimeters at first.
Then that nose came out and the bottom half of the face was visible. The forehead is the biggest part and once that is out you are home free. But this one didn't seem to be budging at all. Every time the cow would heave we would pull extra hard, but it didn't seem like we were getting anywhere.
It was at this point that the rope, which was one of those new-fangled bungee type ropes, began to make these weird popping noises every few seconds.
"Great" my hubby says, "the rope is starting to break."
At that point I was sure the rope would break completely, the calf would disappear back up inside and we would have to round her up to the corral after all. But we still kept hauling away on the rope and FINALLY the little head was all the way out.
We pulled the calf out the rest of the way and there it lay on the ground, all wet and flat. They really look emaciated when they are first born.
At every live birth there is always that weird magic moment when you look down and see the little heart fluttering in the completely still little chest. Then comes the next magic moment when that little chest begins to lift and heave and you hear the calf snort its first breath.
Then you realize that no matter how high the feed prices have climbed that day, no matter how far the stock market has fallen, no matter what the fuel prices may be; miracles still do happen.
New Life is always a miracle; even if it's just a big bull calf out in a cow pasture on a backwoods dairy farm.