The Parable of the Cows

This is calving season and we once again are having trouble with buzzards. They sit in the trees, circle in the sky, and strut on the ground around the cows. This is cause for concern as we have lost calves to these nasty birds.  Several times Gene has had to go to  the pasture and shoot into the air trying to scare them away as it is illegal to shoot them. I am reminded of a parable I wrote in 2008.

This is a true story, we watched it happen.

One of our heifers was in labor. Cows by nature are herd animals which means they tend to stick together in groups. Usually when a cow is in labor, she will wander off from the herd to the side of the pasture to have her calf in private. This particular heifer seemed to be in distress and having trouble. She was in the middle of the field and all seven of the other cows had gathered in a circle around her. We watched as she labored, laid down, stood up, laid down and kicked at her belly.

After an extended period of time Gene began to get concerned. He started pacing the edge of the field watching with binoculars and trying to decide what to do. This group of cows was not very friendly, making it difficult to corral and help her. Another cause for alarm was the flock of buzzards circling above. This spring we’ve had an unusually large number of the black, hooked beak vultures hanging around. So far they have not caused us any trouble but they are birds of prey and have been known to attack a cow in labor; and eating the calf as it is being born. Suddenly as we watched a most amazing thing happened. As we watched the buzzards began landing and strutting towards the cows. And then a most amazing thing happened. One of the cows left leave the circle, ran at the buzzards, and chased them away before coming back and rejoining the circle. This went on until the cow had the calf and both cow and calf were back up on their feet. I noticed that for the rest of the afternoon the herd of cows kept their eye on the buzzards and chased them whenever they landed close by.

Wow! What a picture of the way we function as a church. By nature humans like to be a part of a group. We gather together to worship and fellowship and yet we are individual families doing our own thing. But if one of the group gets in trouble or gets under attack, we will “circle the wagons”, just like the cows, caring and protecting, until the one who is down is back on their feet.

The apostle Peter didn’t mention buzzards but he admonished us to be sober and vigilant because our adversary the devil is on the prowl as a stalking lion, seeking whom he can destroy. He says we are to resist the devil and remain steadfast in faith knowing that as a brotherhood we will experience sufferings and difficulties. (I Peter 5:8-9) Peter also says we are to have fervent love for one another as that will cover a multitude of sins or weaknesses.

Written March 30, 2008

Who We Are/Grandmas Perspective


  1. coleensr Said:

    Good stuff!

  2. […] Side Note:  Gene told me that this mama was one of the cows that helped to protect another cow in “The Parable of the Cows”.  It never ceases to amaze me how he can remember such […]

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