Charlie always makes a big deal about how animals around the farm, wait for my arrival to do what is expected of them, and makes logical sense. Sometimes I have wondered if he thinks that their waiting is a way of making me feel special. And that it is frustrating for Mark, Austin and him to be doing all the chores, and I get to relish the good stuff of farming. Well, as Charlie and I arrived at the farm shortly after 12 noon today, within seconds of us getting out of the car, I was admiring the chickens and calling out for Charlie. Charlie was distracted by the chickens and a car pulling into the driveway. He was also paying attention to the goats. He noted that one of them was looking towards him rather intently and blatting at the same time. He knew instantly that something was the matter.
Justin and his family pulled into the driveway. I was busy with my chickens, and Charlie was being pulled by Justin to look at the work he had done around the goat barn. This brought Charlie closer still to Princess Grace. She was laying on her side and bleating/blatting (like roosters crow). I would have never picked up anything from this other than her welcoming us, but for Charlie, this call was different. And so dressed in his street attire he ran into the pasture. Soon Justin was coming to me asking for gloves. Of course I had no idea where they would be. But somehow, Justin was able to finally find them, and within minutes, Charlie was down and dirty with Princess Grace, and helping her deliver the kid. Was he wondering why he ever left The Floating Island Writers' Workshop? If he did, it did not show, and he certainly did not let it keep him away from his most urgent and necessary calling.
Princess Grace was led to a bedding of fresh clean hay. Since he knew she would be eating it and the baby would be born into it. It was wonderful to see how comfortable Charlie was playing midwife/doola (he says he was being himself and very caring). Are there any male midwives? Male doolas? Justin said once the baby arrived that he could never imagine that Charlie had moved to a farming community only three years ago. No fuss, no drama, in minutes, Charlie had done what was necessary, and done it with love and care. He had led Princess Grace to this corner of the pasture, where she would be alone and comfortable. And in that spot, she found it easy enough to lay on her side, and with the help of Charlie and us spectators, deliver a lovely baby.
I was with the camera, but at the wrong side of Princess Grace. The front end. It was hard to catch the baby being pulled by Charlie into the world outside moms womb. You can see it above, as Charlie lays it onto the hay. Just for a brief moment. As he catches his breath and gives Princess Grace a moment to comprehend what just happened.
Within seconds, the baby (kid) was presented to the mother, who then got busy licking it clean. I am told this is as much for the nutrition of the mother, as it is for the baby. The licking heats the baby and also helps with increasing its heartbeat. The slime was gone within five or ten minutes.
Charlie could not leave Princess Grace and the kid alone for too long. He wanted to make sure she had the kid cleaned on all sides. And that the kid seemed to be responding to the mothers moves. Luckily for us all, and especially the young kids with Justin and Theresa, this delivery was uneventful and easy on the eyes.
As Princess Grace licked away the last bits of slime from the kid you could tell that it was Charlie she had made most happy. That smile on his face gives away his feelings and emotions at that moment.
The next 10-15 minutes were spent allowing Princess Grace and the kid to bond. It is amazing to see these mothers take such good care of their offspring. With nothing at their disposal (Well they have uber kind and smart Charlie at our farm), they do the best and do it very well. Is it that the ability of humans to speak in a certain language made them also more of the complaining and complacent type? Would we have been smarter and more thankful had we not spoken the languages we know?
Our friend Theresa holds Quinten as they both watch Princess Grace deliver. Theresa and I had been speaking about animals delivering babies, and how they do it so calmly. I had spoken too soon it seems. As when Charlie had his glove covered hands inside Princess Grace, helping her deliver, the sounds we heard coming out of this small creature, were nothing short of loud and disturbing. It was nice to have at least for a moment even these animals that never complain, give out a plaintive cry.
Leaving me with Princess Grace, Charlie left to say goodbye to Justin, Theresa and the kids. And whilst they were exchanging pleasantries, the kid was ready to start nursing on mom. How do they have such perfect instincts?
In less than an hour after the delivery, both Princess Grace and the kid, seemed to be in good stead. The baby seemed in good health. Princess Grace did not have a second baby to deliver. Usually twins or triplets are easily found. Perhaps this fact made the delivery seem so much easier and calmer.
And I was enjoying that summer was upon us, and happy I got to spend a day at the farm which had no lacking for excitement. I arrived at the farm this afternoon having spent 36 days away from home. When I left for India in early May, it was cold and I know they had a couple of frosts in my absence. Today, it was warm but not terribly hot. All green and even somewhat overgrown. I was informed the lawn mower had some issues. Fixed now, and soon the grass will look more even and plush. What was most heartwarming was Princess Grace's delivery of the kid timed perfectly with our arrival back home. I could not have asked for a better welcome after so long. And I know this one will make Charlie realize that he too is just as special to all animals big and small. They await his arrival just as much as mine.