Friday, July 12, 2013

Celebrate Small Things

Another Friday is upon us and it is time to be thankful for, as well as celebrate all the great things that have happened during the week -- the big things and even the teeny-tiny. 

This week I am going to tell you a story so please bear with me because it is sort of a long one....

Four days ago, we noticed an abandoned cow standing in a small clearing across our home -- a few feet from our gate. The area, though small, is sheltered on three sides by walls. We never bothered her or scared her away because the clearing is a nice safe place for her. She is clearly an old cow and had been abandoned as her milk has dried up. Here in India, abandoned cattle are rather commonplace. 

When we spotted her eating some grass near an old dried-up well and her rump was in full view, we saw a wound on her tail and it was obviously pretty bad. It was clearly infected and flies were all over it. To make things worse, crows started to come and peck at her wound so it had gotten bigger and blood was dripping. We just couldn't do nothing but we also could not keep her. 

The cow is very wary of humans as many have probably treated her badly so she would not let us near enough to take a good look at her wound. Dad asked me to give him a large cup of diluted disinfectant  (that thing was the really strong kind and not really meant for wounds -- but it was better than nothing) so that he can try to pour it over the wound as he walked by; which he did. He also tried to give her a bucket of water but she did not drink. 

The crows were bad though and those birds were practically eating the cow alive. My stepmom and I had to alternately go over to the clearing every half hour or so to scare crows away. If we could sit with the cow all day, we would, but it just was not possible. I got some veterinary antibiotics, hid them in a big piece of kneaded atta (wheat flour) and had my stepmother give it to her. Thankfully, she allowed my stepmom to get near enough to give her the piece of atta. We plan to keep giving her antibiotics for as long as she needs them. 

That night, she was not in the clearing. She must have gone somewhere to graze and to get water. The following day, we saw that some kind soul put some dark colored salve onto the wound to keep flies away and it kept the crows from pecking at her wound for a couple of hours. (God bless the person who put the salve on her). But, crows are carrion animals and when they see weakness, they will not stop and the cow was weak and old. They came after a few hours and started to peck at the wound again. 

Becky resting in the clearing
This morning, I decided I have had enough of crows so I took out an old t-shirt, cut the sides and the shoulders so it opened out and soaked it in disinfectant. I then went over to Becky (I had to name her something and calling her "abandoned cow" is just too sad), and draped it over her rump to cover the wound (had to bribe her with some potatoes). I know it won't stay there long but it does keep the crows and flies away -- at least while the t-shirt remains in place. We have lots of old clothes we can use if we need to put another cover over the wound. 

I am thankful (we all are) that she is still alive, eating and drinking. She is skin and bones but we try to feed her. She is clearly old, weak and the wound is infected. But we are praying that she will be able to beat the infection or, at least if she isn't meant to be around for much longer, that she goes quietly, and without much pain.

It all does not seem to be something to celebrate, but Becky is safe from cruel people in that small clearing. She is able to relax and not worry about people beating her with sticks (or worse) to keep her away. She has access to water. And there is some grass in nearby vacant lots for her to graze on. For my parents and I, that is more than enough reason to celebrate. 

Posted by: Bames Pabla
Bames Live, Updated at: 11:38 AM