Hanging with Hobart: Welcoming Life at the Farm

Last night, nearing the end of study hours, Semester 70 was scattered across various rooms when we received some very exciting news: Hazel had just given birth to a new baby cow! As the news spread, students poured onto the quad, squealing with excitement. I’m sure our joy could be heard all the way on the farm as we sprinted through the snow. A friend grabbed my hand and tugged me through the dark as we ran to the barn. We couldn’t contain our excitement, yet as soon as we entered the barn, our voices fell to a whisper.

Awaiting us was a 20-minute-old calf snuggled beside his mom. His dark brown coat shivered as Hazel licked him dry. As we crowded together with joy, Megan, the farmer, answered our many questions. Soon, someone asked how the cows are named, and Megan informed us that Chewonki tradition names each calf using the first letter of its mother. After a few suggestions of names beginning with “H,” Ren suggested Hobart. This was hilarious as the Hobart is the industrial-sized dishwasher we work with during dish crew. After this suggestion, the calf’s name was settled unanimously.

As we continued to watch Hobart, he attempted to stand up. The calf was less than an hour old, but he was already eager to take his first steps. Each time, however, he lost his balance and fell back to the ground. Meanwhile, our bedtime was quickly approaching. Thankfully, Julie postponed check-in until 10:30 to allow for us to watch Hobart. After many more unsuccessful efforts, Hobart finally managed to stand. This moment was so beautiful to witness–never before had I seen something so new to the world. Hobart was making the cutest sounds, and we were all so impressed by Hazel’s strength. 

All too soon, it was time to get ready for bed. While Hobart had not yet begun to nurse, it was unbelievable to witness some of his first moments of life. Walking back together, we linked arms and reflected in awe about what we had just witnessed. Today, Scottie and I walked back to the barn to visit Hobart. This time, he was sound asleep, but we still enjoyed some adorable cow noises. I am so thankful that we got to witness this special time on the farm together, and I can’t wait to watch little Hobart grow up. 

Evie Braude, Webb School of Knoxville, Knoxville, TN

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