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Venduto e spedito da IBS
**A farmer out checking his cattle finds a newborn calf of many colors.**Deep in fresh snow with no momma cow in sight. It is supposed to get well below freezing tonight and the sun is going down quickly.
What choice does he have but to pick the newborn up and get her to where it's warm and dry for the night? ...And then come back in the dark to find its mother.
40 pounds of calf a quarter of a mile from anywhere. So he wraps her up in his coat, picks her up, and starts trudging through the snow back to his farmhouse.
But a couple of spirits were waiting for him to arrive...
It was supposed to be a time of peace.
No conflicts beyond fighting with the weather for crops and rebuilding our society.
Better than that, there were outside forces adding to that mix. Spirits and demons and stuff.
I didn't know all that when I was checking the cows that winter day. Just my dogs and me. Seeing how the fences were, making sure the calves were on the right side of them. Not that there was much conflict or worry from those cattle. Even coyotes left them alone. Nothing like a mean momma cow. They were never far from their young calves. And wolves were only up north. Hunters made them scarce in this state.
So when I saw the calico calf in the snow, it was surprising. The cows were black and white, no red or brown in them. Not in several generations, anyway. Not with this bull. And the neighbor's haven't been out of their fences into ours.
Now I'd heard of striped cows, and spotted cows, but those were in two colors. This was three. Like a cat. Or more like a kitten.
There was this calf. New born. Shivering. No cow tracks anywhere. Just fresh snow on top of old snow. Still below freezing. Means I had to get this calf somewhere warm. Closest place was a quarter-mile away. Carrying a forty-pound calf. So I took off my outer coat to wrap up that calf. (Layers helped in more ways than one - besides, I'd be sweating shortly hefting this weight up and down hills.) And I'd still have to warm up some colostrum and milk-replacer. And come back to find that mother cow and bring her up to wherever I got the calf safely.
I had some hundreds of other thoughts going through about what I now had to do. Like the many fences I'd have to cross with this calf, where to keep it warm that I could clean up. How much it was going to take to get another cow to take it in. My day had just been changed. One bright spot was that it was still morning.
That bright spot was dimming though. The sky was becoming dark, but without any clouds. I could hardly see my own tracks to make my way back. I didn't want to stumble with this precious bundle in my arms. And that slowed me down as I had to be more careful. There wasn't even a moon to light my way. This was becoming quite a chore. And I thought I was used to farm chores.
"Are you sure this is the one?"
"You've read the same signs. The stars, the loneliness, the remoteness. He's the future."
"The future that is yet to be, hundreds of years in the future."
"But only if we act now."
"Right. Let's do this."
Bonus Story: "Mr. Ben's Rail Road" where an entrepreneur is working to re-establish a working railroad between the farmers and the city just miles away. A young girl, along with her father and cousins, are allowed to ride along for the adventure. She's recording everything for history, just in case...
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