The cows were now obviously heavily pregnant and their gait around the fields was even more ponderous than usual. Looking at them from in front or the rear, we could see huge bulges at either side of their flanks and Richard began to look for signs of their udders filling. We had Roddy’s predictions of the first ten to calve and so he knew which cows to keep the closest eye on. It was still a surprise however, when, on September 29th, I went out to feed the cats early in the morning and on the way back into the house I cast a glance over to far Brookfield and saw in the middle of the large black shapes, one small black dot being tended by one of the Ladies. I rubbed my eyes and looked again, but there was no mistake, there in the morning sunshine lay our first born calf. Excitedly I rushed into the house shouting to Richard, ‘We’ve got one, come and see’. Never one to show strong emotions, Richard continued chewing his toast and marmalade and looked at me quizzically as I entered the kitchen. His expression did not alter as I told him that there definitely was a new arrival in the field. I could tell however, that there was a quicker pace to his stride as he rose from the table and put on his boots.
We had prepared a bag with all the necessary requisites for dealing with a newborn, tags and tagging machine, antiseptic spray for navel, towel and cloths to dry and rub warmth into the little body and he picked this up from the cupboard by the sink and disappeared outside. ‘Here goes,’ I thought,’ now we shall see how difficult it is to deal with a new born and its Galloway mother.’ Rather belatedly and very superfluously I shouted to Richard to take care and then I took up station at the farm gate where I could watch the proceedings. I saw him approach to within about ten yards of the pair, and saw that the other Ladies appeared to pay scant attention to the goings on. At this point Richard stopped and I knew that he would be talking to the cow. I knew also what he would be saying, telling her what a clever girl she was and what a fine calf her baby was. I could see him inching nearer to her and watched with bated breath as she seemed to allow the approach with nothing more threatening that a slight toss of her head and a further lick to the baby.