Marsielle, our two-and-a-half-year-old, has not rushed her language. She has no need: as the youngest of three, she’s found ways to get her point across without words.
But the words have been coming more steadily in recent weeks, and yesterday came her first complete sentence.
Since yesterday, PV headquarters have echoed with the mournful cries of the first batch of fresh-weaned calves to come into the feedlot this fall. It’s a distraught chorus that will keep up for the next couple months around here — for just as soon as this first bunch of calves forgets their mama cows out in the hills, a fresh bunch will be hauled in and pick up on the ballad. It’s a sound we PVers all learn to block out as the days go by — and for old veterans of the annual weaning cycle, as the years go by.
But for Marsielle — who evidently doesn’t remember last year’s weaning season and whose bedroom window is but 50 feet from the pen where bawling calves are milling and looking for a hole to escape through — the crying is worrisome.
So much so that it’s inspired her first sentence, which she has repeated often, with genuine concern, in the last 18 hours:
“Mama, baby cows sad.”
She wants me to fix the sadness — because I am her mama and I am her preferred fixer of sadness. But there is nothing to be fixed here — there is only explaining, over and over, that this time the crying is part of an annual cycle of efficiency and profitability and that the “feelings” of the calves really don’t factor in much at all.
Perhaps it took a little unfairness in her Marsi-centric world to inspire that first sentence.
Yes, honey, the baby cows are sad. But I promise everything will be alright in a few days.
© Tami Blake