Skijoring: a sport usually involving skis, snow and either a horse, mule, dogs, motorcycle or automobile to pull the skier. You may have participated in or observed one or another of this form of recreational activity, but have you ever skijored behind a cow? Few have.
Skijoring, Cow Style
In Springtime in Montana
when calves are ready to be born;
Every two hours I check the mamas
until the break of morn.
For sometimes there’s a mother cow
has trouble birthing a calf,
Which means that I must act as midwife
and work on her behalf.
No matter if it’s cold or warm
or whether dry or muddy,
With OB straps, I sally forth
even if it’s cruddy.
I see a cow; she’s lying down;
she’s in a lot of pain;
She’s having trouble birthing;
she’s exhausted from the strain.
I ease my hand inside her channel
and feel the calf is there;
He’s ready but his mama’s got
no energy to spare.
I wrap the feet in the OB strap
and wait for the next contraction;
Mamma cow is breathing hard;
then suddenly she’s in action!
She lurches upright; she slobbers, she
snorts, she snuffs and bellows wildly;
I cling to the OB strap;
I’m in a pickle to put it mildly.
She’s a derailed four-legged slobbering freight
train, bellering louder than thunder;
I hang on tight to the OB straps
as I skijore ’cross the tundra.
I scoot and skid, slide and swerve through
the poop and the goop and the mud;
Then the calf falls out of mama’s rear
and drops to the ground with a thud.
And I, no longer being dragged,
go down beside the calf.
Mama bovine’s mad as heck;
she wants to tear me in half!
But the membrane is over the newborn’s nose;
he’ll suffocate unless
I get it off so he can breathe;
I know he’s in distress!
On my hands and knees I moosh through
the mud and yank the membrane off,
An angry cow snorts mucus on me;
the calf emits a cough.
I breathe a sigh as the mama heifer
claims her bovine baby;
Then I slosh to my feet and realize
I’m less than a well groomed lady.
I’m coated with slobber and slime,
enough to make a vulture gag;
But I’ve saved a calf!
That’s money in the bank!
I gotta right to brag!
I slog to the house and shed my
cruddy stinky clothes on the porch
And enter the kitchen where my hubby
— the man for whom I carry a torch —
Sits near the stove with his feet propped up
and gives me a beaming smile;
“Hi, Hon,” he says. “When’s lunch?
My stomach thinks it’s been awhile.”
Lunch!!! I roll my eyes.
(Would I be forgiven if I killed him)?
But hey, it’s calvin’ time,
so I guess I’ll let him go on livin’.
“We’ve got a new calf,” I say with a laugh
(instead of an outraged roar),
A cute little white-face Baldy;
I gave him a name —
I call him Skijore! ❖