The weather around here has been horrible. A considerable amount of snow fell on Saturday. I got on our ATV and shoved snow all over the place. I’m thankful for the ATV and grateful to those who used to help me before I got it. So I try to go around my neighborhood and help others.
We thought the worst of the storm was behind us, but Saturday night, the wind kicked up, coming out of the north, bringing with it twenty-below-zero temperatures. The wind filled the roads and driveways with snow drifts, and the cold froze the snow into solid blocks. Some neighbors of ours came back from a tropical vacation and could not drive into their house. They had to leave their car on the road and walk the last fifty yards, and they were still wearing sandals and shorts.
The next day I came to clear their driveway but had to do it in small increments to break the frozen snow. It peeled away in big blocks. It took quite a while. As I worked at clearing their snow, I thought of a story a man told me.
Jason was a trucker and hauled cattle. The weather then was a lot like it is now, with temperatures dipping well below zero. One rancher he hauled cattle for wanted to move his calves to a warmer pasture he owned hundreds of miles south.
Jason expressed his concern about hauling the calves and whether they would make it in the cold.
“With the weather that is predicted here,” the man said, “I think we are taking a gamble either way. My bet would be they will do better getting moved than staying here.”
Jason had to agree that things seemed quite desperate either way. They rigged up some heaters in the trailer to provide a little warmth and loaded up fifty calves in the sixty-foot trailer. It was crowded, but the men felt that the closeness might help keep the calves warm.
Jason started on his way. He was going slowly and carefully, but that evening as he traveled through one town, a car zipped past him, then spun on the road. Jason worked not to hit the car, knowing that he would probably kill those inside if he did. Eventually, the car spun off one side of the road, and Jason’s truck slid off the other.
His truck rolled, but he was only bruised. He jumped out to make sure the people in the car were okay, then rushed to check on the calves. To his dismay, he found that the trailer had broken open, and the calves were rushing away. Out of the fifty calves, he was able to stop eleven and get them trapped in the trailer.
Kind people stopped to help, but the other thirty-nine calves were gone into the night, and the wind quickly erased their hoof prints. Someone offered him a barn to put the eleven captured calves in, and another person left and came back with a trailer to transport them.
Jason searched for the lost calves for hours, but they had mysteriously vanished. He found no trace of them. A couple of highway patrolmen and local people helped search, but they had no more luck than Jason did. Eventually, a police officer convinced Jason to get some rest and try again in the morning. Reluctantly, Jason climbed into a warm patrol car for a ride to the hotel. He shivered for a long time, but eventually warmed up. Sleep was in short supply as he worried, knowing the calves could never last the night.
Early the next morning, a patrolman knocked on Jason’s hotel door. “We found your calves,” he said.
Jason hurried with him, afraid of what he’d find, but to his amazement, there were dozens of them running around.
The police officer smiled. “Early this morning, we started getting lots of calls. It seems the calves found their way to window wells all over town. The snow covered them like they were in snow caves. They frightened a few people who found them staring in their windows, though.”
The calves were gathered, and all but three had survived. Jason felt that was more than a miracle. With his truck pulled out and the trailer patched together with rope, Jason was soon back on the road with the calves. He looked forward to warmer pastures, too.