Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Lessons From Animals
I was out working in the pasture today, doing a little "animal control", if you will. The date is March 2nd and it was a balmy 68 degrees. There was absolutely no wind, America's Mountain shined graciously on the horizon, and there wasn't a sound to be heard. The cattle were grazing, occasionally shooting me a somewhat unconcerned glance, even from a couple of momma cows who had bedded their babies down while they went to eat. I couldn't even hear the cattle eating. It was almost eerie at how quietly the cattle ate, slowly moving their way from point A to point B. They didn't even care that the dogs were lying beside the pickup. Of course, they probably realized it would require some generated energy for the dogs to move, so the cows weren't too concerned. Pretty soon, one of the baby calves stood up and stretched. Momma, grazing at a distance, immediately stopped eating, looked at the baby, and smartly made her way to the calf. There was no pomp and circumstance. There was no noise. The momma gently nuzzled the baby, who decided it was time for an afternoon snack. I kept working, but was also watching the mother-baby bonding. When snack time was completed, the momma and baby trekked to the stock tank for Momma to replenish herself. Then they walked on about a quarter mile before Momma resumed grazing. The baby skittered and played a little bit (as much as a day old calf can play), before lying down again. The thought occurred to me that animals are very intelligent (just in case you didn't already realize this). They don't need anyone to tell them to feed their children. They put their kids down for a nap and the kids obediently stay there until Momma returns. There is no fussing and feuding. Momma knows best. They are fed nutritious meals and do not worry about what the consequences might be of ingesting too much lactose. The children are taught to play freely with each other and they get plenty of exercise. When they misbehave, they hear a stern beller from Momma and they immediately know they had better respect the discipline. I'm thinking we humans all need to learn some lessons from animals and there is no better time for school to be in session than right now. Springtime brings new beginnings. Winter is waning away and new life springs up everywhere. Let's watch the animals and see what we can learn about parenting. It just might humble all of us.