Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A day of Firsts and forty-seconds...

Today Nickie started her job training program at STEPS. She was so proud to be starting a job. Though her paychecks will be minimal she will start to have a few dollars to spend each month. She already has plans for the first paycheck. She wants to buy a new blue shirt. When Nickie arrived home she was beaming telling me all about her co-workers and her day. I never thought she would be able to work so this is very special.
Today Jackie, Brandon, Bob and I were headed to La Parota to have lunch when we passed one of the cattle farms and noticed a woman pulled over and had a blanket over something inside the fence. We turned around to see if we could help and found 2 women now at the side of a new born calf. Now as you all know we are new to the country life and though we're learning daily about goats and chickens we know nothing of cattle. So this woman insisted the calf was freezing to death. So I got out my cell phone and called animal control to tell them what was going on. I had knowledge from a previous incedent that they had a contact number for the owner. I explained what was going on and that someone needed to call the owner to come tend to the calf.

While I'm on the phone with animal control one woman jumped the fence and tried to pic up the calf. She had her back to the momma cow and momma didn't look happy at all. Bob and I told the woman to get out but she wouldn't listen. Momma snorted and lunged forward a few times I was very nervous and worried that the wooden fence was as substantial as a toothpick fence to this momma cow. I began to worry that she would tear down the fence.

The first woman declared she wasn't able to lift the calf and two seconds later the other woman was over the fence and she hoisted the calf up and over the fence and expected Bob to take it from there. He grabbed the calf after her insisting if we didn't get it into a warm place soon that it would die. So for fear of the calfs life he took the calf, she jumped back over the fence and opened the back of her SUV for him to place it inside. All the while I'm on the phone with animal control telling them what is happening. I'm told that one of the officers is going to call me in 30 seconds or less so hang up wait for his call.

The officer calls me in 2.2 seconds and demands that the calf be put back. I place the woman on the phone with the officer who explains to her that there is still a cow rustling law on the books in VA and she could be charged with a felony offense. He explains she is to remain there untill they arrived. She assured us she would wait for them and we left to go to lunch.

We arrived at La Parota for my birthday lunch. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe food was great, the company even better and turning 42 was no more difficult than 24. At the end of the meal I was given a photo opportunity I couldn't miss. Here it is....Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Just after that lovely polaroid was taken as we were walking up front to pay the bill I receive a phone call from the animal control officer...She explained that the woman that had the calf in her car didn't wait on them. Fortunately they were able to convince her to return the calf and avoid CATTLE RUSTLING charges. Yeah that law is still on the books here and Bob and I would have charged with the same. Fortunately I was able to remind them I was the one that called animal control in the first place and ummmm we didn't have the cow in our posession either... So thankfully I didn't add the first arrest to my list of firsts, today.