The contractions started in the late evening, and she laboured all night, the pains increasing in intensity. She made no fuss. There were helping hands; the hands of people she knew and trusted, and although she had never done this before, she felt safe.
In the early hours of the following morning, she gave birth to a perfect little son, and she felt overwhelmed with love and contentment as she felt his warm breath on her face, and his eager mouth as it sought out her milk. At last, she rested.
But the next day, they took him away. She heard his desperate cries, which were soon drowned out by her own, but she couldn't get to him for they had restrained her. She was not to know that she would never see her baby again.
The farmer was disappointed, but what could he do? He had no use for another bull calf.