Deepti the young little mother in our herd finally gave birth to her first calf. Here is Shanmuganathswami who is our dairy manager when he is not working in the offices.
He named her “Teji” which means “Radiant One”
The monks have been watching Deepti very carefully the past couple of days as she was showing signs of entering labour at any moment. As it turns out she had dropped her little calf “out in the wild” and we did not even know it. Shanmuganathswami has the tale:
The Story of Teji
I went out to check on our young mother Deepti at about 6:15PM last night. We knew she would give birth any moment. She was lying down, alone near the cow barn and had tell-tale signs of birthing. It was rather perplexing as the usual calf that goes with this scenario was not to be seen or heard.
We checked on Deepti throughout the night. I had observed and was pondering the fact that Deepti looked rather thin to still be pregnant and it became increasingly apparent that she had already delivered the calf.
On a hunch I drove around the pastures this morning looking for miniature match for its mother — a little white and black furry creature. Driving very slowly along the stream at the bottom of the pasture near the Ganesha shrine by San Marga, I drove right by her, not expecting to find her at such an odd location. Out of the corner of my eye she was spotted standing on the Palamuthirsolai-San Marga side of the stream, where normally the cows cannot go.
Somehow Deepti had delivered her calf, but got separated from the newborn who mysteriously ended up on the other side of the stream. The little one probably fell in the stream which is shallow and climbed out the other side and fortunately did not get stuck in the deep mud, which can be life-threatening for a cow of any size.
When I crossed the plank bridge and approached on foot, I could see it was a heifer (girl calf). She let out a quiet “mooo” of what seemed to be a sigh of relief. Immediately I was “mom”, and she was ready to follow me anywhere. Not being able to cross the ditch to get back to the mule, she following me like a little dog all the way along the stream, through Palamuthirsolai, the Path of the Saints, up Rishi Valley road and finally reached the laundry area. It must have been a harrowing experience from her point of view, as the trail along the stream is fraught with walls of tree roots, deep muddy water and unfamiliar green objects (plants).
After being toweled off from falling in the muddy water a few times, Teji was ready for a hearty breakfast. She quickly learned that the colorful towels on the laundry lines were potential sources of food (whatever that might be.) Sensing the urgency of the situation we settled her into the calf pen where she patiently waited for her first meal.
Yogi Jivananda and I milked Deepti very quickly, and it went quite smoothly since she had be trained previously to go into the stanchion. Like her mother Pele, Deepti was easily adapted to the milking routine having completely forgotten anything about her calf. She gave about 1 1/2 gallons of milk and was released, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she had delivered a new calf the night before.
We took the fresh, buttery milk to little Teji, and she drank every drop from the bucket with relish.
She is now relaxing with a full and bulging belly in the refurbished calf pen, quite relieved to be wrapped in her nice blue cotton blanket, warm and cozy after an all night adventure in the cold, dark jungles of Kauai.