One of my favorite things about living on a farm is the animal babies. Who doesn’t love to see the first wobbly steps of a newborn? With pastures full of cows, we have a fair share of new calves each year. Birthing season is starting again soon, and we’re excited to see each new baby join the farm.
One curious habit I’ve seen in new mamas is they hide their babies. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wandered a field looking for a small, black, curled up ball that is a baby calf in hiding. We wouldn’t even know to look for one, except for the fact that we see a cow off away from the herd by herself. A lone cow during birthing season is a sure sign that she’s left the herd to have her baby.
When we are out looking for a newborn calf in a large pasture, we’ve got to be extremely cautious. We could easily run a newborn over with our ATV or tractor, especially if the grass is tall. Hiding the baby has a purpose. The cow is protecting its calf from predators. Though the mama will wander away from the calf to graze, she’ll return periodically to check on the baby.
A mama and its newborn use sound, smell, and touch to get to know each other. This connection is important once the two return to the herd. A baby’s mooing will alert the mama, and mama will moo for her baby to bring the two back together. This bond is critical in the herd so that the babies will get fed and cared for.
Sometimes, though, mama doesn’t want to be found. Perhaps the little one has just fed, and she’s tired of nursing it. That little fella will carry on mooing his little head off looking for his mama. Our bull will sometimes investigate if a calf carries on for too long.
Human mothers are the same way. Not with the hiding part, but with the connection. I think that’s why so many women love the smell of a newborn. We’re just made that way. It makes us just want to cuddle and snuggle into the little one. Sometimes, when we’re at the right age, it also makes some of us want to have a little one of our own. If you are a woman, you may know what I’m talking about here.
Imagine how many cows there would be in the world if God didn’t design the mamas to protect and care for their young. Not too many. For that matter, if God hadn’t ingrained the urge to have a baby in humans, there probably wouldn’t be as many of us running around, either. Why else would so many of us voluntarily sign up to take care of someone else for eighteen years or more.
God sure knew what he was doing when he put us together. I’m amazed every day when I see how nature works. It’s like poetry from above.
Have something you’d like to add to this? I’d love to hear from you.