Friday 24th August, and not feeling too good most of the morning, on a temperature stabilization, and a feeling of being on the road to recovery, (which turned out to be a false alarm), I went down to the bottom of the garden to burn some rubbish in the incinerator.
As always I look into the field at the bottom of our garden, to see which of the animals that live there are in that field. Sometimes its cows, sheep, occasionally wild turkeys, and lots of bird life, such a pukekos. Imagine my surprise when I see a cow, which initially looks like its lying down in a very muddy patch of the water soaked land. After looking at her for a few moments, I realize that she is not lying down, and that she is standing up but has sunk well down into the land. The poor cow, trying to get out, gets her bum frazzled on the electric fence, that stops them from trying to break through ours and our neighbours fences. The cow looks at me forlornly. She is obviously distressed, and well and truly stuck. We cannot move the electric fence easily, and I am deeply concerned that my DH is going to touch it, and with DH having a pacemaker I know this is not a good idea. I send him off to a neighbour to see if she has the contact details of the family that own this particular field. She has their land line and his mobile. The house phone rings and rings, and no answer. The mobile phone goes straight to messages. We know he works somewhere locally but not sure where. So we start ringing round, and some of our neighbours have no idea where he works or even that he worked. The local fire brigade give us his employers name, but no contact details nor can we find him in the white or yellow pages. I ring around one or two of the dairy farmers I know locally, they can give me the owner of the cows name, and home phone number but nothing else. In desperation I try a retired farmer I know. By now, my head and throat are throbbing, and all I want to do is go and lie down, and if possible, die
.. you know how viruses get to you. After a long conversation I get the phone number and details I need, and by now my throat is closing painfully up. The cow is still stuck, my DH has trespassed onto the land and disconnected the electric fence, and is talking in soft encouraging voices to this poor cow. She is tired, and weary, and obviously cold. She manages to get some of her hind legs out of the mud, but not all the way, but sufficiently not to have pressure on her belly any more. She continues to look doleful and really sorry for herself. By now I have made contact with our neighbours employer, whose wife is rather sharp with me, telling me that they are in the middle of calving, and patiently I explain the problem. She gets her husband, who tells me he will tell our neighbour of his animals dilemma. We go periodically to check her, and give soothing voice tones and comments, and she just stares at us, no sound, just doleful looks. Eventually the property owner arrives, and takes a look at her and dashes off. About half an hour later he comes back with his employers tractor and pulls her out. She stands exhausted for a good twenty minutes, head down, relieved. The small herd is then moved off into another paddock. DH and I have felt anxious all morning, this was not how we planned to spend our morning, and we feel tired at the end of all this, doing nothing really, but relieved that the cow is safe and well.