Thursday, 11 February 2010
The Dance of Love
This fellow's really been through the wringer, having spent the better part of the last four weeks in a prostrate position. Over three weeks ago he contracted Bovine Ephemeral Fever, more commonly known as 3-Day Sickness. Characterised by high fever and joint inflammation, many animals are so lame you would think they'd broken a limb. As the name suggests most animals recover within a few days. Upon seeing an animal go down with 3-Day, we generally will needle them with an anti-inflammatory in the paddock and usually they are up within a day.
Not so, this bloke. For nearly four weeks we have lovingly tended him. Carting buckets of water morning and night, as well as hay we only managed to get him to his feet about ten days ago. With Matthew steering his tail, he stumbled and bumbled his way to the yards and undercover before the onset of our last rain event. An event that would have surely finished him off.
This morning on my way to the school bus I decided I had time to stand him up on the way out. Lying next to the fence between us and the highway, I slapped him on the rump, grabbed his tail and gave him a hand up. Lurching and jerking three steps forward he managed to fall straight through the four-barb fence beside him, resulting in much oohing and aahing from my team of onlookers. Hurriedly shooshing them back into the car I regretted having gone anywhere near him.
So after waving goodbye to the bus, I returned to cut the fence. Having invested much time in his extremely slow recovery, I wasn't about to see it come unstuck by a Blenners Superliner hauling a load from Cairns to Brisbane. Managing to coax him again to his very unsteady feet, in a fox-trot come tango type manoeuvre, with one hand firmly gripping his tail and the other slapping him down the shoulder, we lurched and jerked and shimmied our way back across the boundary.
And while his posture could have been better, and his adagio style was more reminiscent of a drunken Thunderbird, I don't know that Sonia Kruger or Todd McKenney could have done any better, given the circumstances.