The people at The Gentle Barn have been rescuing farm animals from abusive environments since 1999 in an effort not only to reduce the animals’ suffering, but also to provide opportunities for children and adults to develop compassion and empathy for all living creatures. Recently they removed a cow named Karma from a situation in which she had no food, water, or shelter and was under enormous stress. On bringing her back to their farm in rural Tennessee, they expected her to start the healing process among their other animals and gentle staff.
However, in spite of her greatly improved surroundings, Karma did not seem to suffer less. She appeared agitated, restless, and cried out over and over as if trying to tell her rescuers something important. In spite of their concern, the rescuers at The Gentle Barn were unable to comfort her.
Karma’s crying continued throughout the night. Finally, one sharp-eyed volunteer made an important observation. Karma’s udders were dripping milk. The person from whom she’d been rescued had failed to tell them some very important information. The rescuers went to work immediately.
For a long morning Karma continued to pace and cry, as if searching. But then a vehicle arrived pulling a large white trailer. Karma, and her fellow rescue, Chante, trot to the edge of their corral, getting as close to the trailer as possible. Karma’s cries become more urgent as the trailer opens and a volunteer leads out a weak and confused reddish-brown calf. Karma has been calling out for her baby whom rescuers unwittingly left behind.
The ordeal is not over for either Karma or her baby as the short walk from the trailer to the corral proves too much for the food-deprived calf. It stumbles and falls as Karma walks on. She looks desperate to reach it and tries to force her large head between the bars of her enclosure. Quickly, volunteers help the calf back to its feet and into the corral. Mother and child are reunited and Karma’s cries finally cease.
A few more moments, another fall from the calf, and a lot of gentle help from the rescuers and Karma’s baby is quietly nursing from her udders. The staff and volunteers of The Gentle Barn congratulate each other on a good deed accomplished.