Along about 1996, I worked a roundup on the Mogollon rim, in Northern Arizona. Lee Hunsaker and I were out looking for cattle on the 25 square miles of government land, he leased to run his herd on. We’d been riding a while when, in the distance, Lee saw a cow just standing there off by herself. He felt it unusual and followed a hunch. We worked our way over to where she was, and sure enough, found a newborn calf under a cedar tree.

There was about 6 inches of snow on the ground and more was coming. The maternal instincts of the cow would not let her leave the calf, however, she hadn’t quite got used to the idea of letting the newborn suck. It took a while, as the cow (not polled) was bent on protecting her offspring, but Lee and I finally got the calf up over his saddle horn and headed for a small gathering of cows and calves about a half-mile away. Lee knew the mother would follow us (as we had her calf). She came, bawling the whole way. He clued me in that when we got to where other cows were, who were feeding their calves, this new mother would get the hang of what she was supposed to do.

I came close to calling this piece, “One that the cold won’t get”.


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