Let me rephrase that...
Mike has a barn full of calves.
Of course, that doesn't count those days when one or more of those bottle-babies is sick...
Or the nights when he and I are trekking out at one or two o'clock in the morning to feed one of those calves a bottle or give him medicine so he won't become dehydrated as a result of his sickness.
Or the morning after those treks.
It doesn't count those days when the temperatures are plunging and the ice and snow is falling and the wind is blowing that frozen, iciness into the barn on top of the calves.
It doesn't count those days when the temperature never rises above freezing and the water buckets have to be set near the milk room heater to thaw because the water has frozen into a solid chunk in the bucket.
On those days, he is stressed. Really stressed. Stressed to he max!
I sometimes go to the barn to visit all the fellows. I will give them a rub on he head or pet their noses.
The grandchildren and I were instructed not to name them after Blacky and Spot went On To Greener Pastures. So, for the most part, I have refrained. However, there is one calf who wears a name.
When he came here to live, Mike and his cousin didn't like the looks of him so much. They thought he was too white. They thought his head was too big.
I simply gave him a rub and a pat and said I thought he was a good calf and called him George Washington. After all, he did have a big old white head like George Washington.
Later, when he was settled in and acclimated, they didn't really like him because he was so aggressive and practically knocked them down with his eagerness to drink his bottle.
I still gave him a rub and a pat and repeated that I thought he was a good calf and called him George.
He has progressed to the point that he is in a group pen. The group he is with are fellows who are a bit older than him but he and his big old white George Washington head fit right in with them.
I still think he is a good calf and love it that he will come over to the gate when I walk over to the pen and say, "What about it George?"
He will lift his big old white head up to my hand and let me give him a rub and a pat.