Rancher Girl is a sister of Mountain Kid, Prairie Kid, City Kid and Fishing Kid. Rancher Girl lives on a ranch outside of Calgary, Alberta with her ten year old daughter, Amie. It is now January in Alberta and it is very, very cold.
“There won’t be any school today,” said Rancher Girl to Amie, who had just gotten out of bed. “It is -40 degrees Celsius this morning.
Amie found it very hard to hold in her lack of disappointment. She was so glad she didn’t have to go to school today. She knew, however, that she would have to do their chores though. Amie didn’t mind this because she loved looking after the animals they had on the ranch.
“Dress warm,” said Rancher Girl, after Amie had eaten a nice warm bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. “Put your long underwear on too!”
“Oh Mom!” exclaimed Amie. “Do I have to?”
“Yes,” said Rancher Girl. “If you don’t, you will freeze in seconds. This is the coldest day yet.”
Amie and Rancher Girl bundled up in their winter gear. They had long underwear, wool socks, hats, mittens, scarves, big bulky wool sweaters and snow suits. Amie could hardly move, however, once she stepped outside, she was grateful that she had dressed warmly. It was definitely freezing cold.
“Amie,” said Rancher Girl, when they entered the barn. “Find Sally and make sure she is okay.”
Sally is their five-year old cow. She gave birth a few days ago and she had a few complications.
“Mom!” cried Amie, when she got to Sally’s stall. “Sally is pretty sick.”
“Oh my!” exclaimed Rancher Girl, when she saw the shape Sally was in. “Amie, call the vet please.”
Amie went up to the house to call the vet and while she was gone, Sally took a turn for the worse. When Amie returned to the barn, it was too late for Sally.
“What are we going to do with Sally’s calf?” asked Amie.
“It is much too cold to leave her down here in the barn,” said Rancher Girl. “We are going to have to bring her up to the house with us.”
Amie and Rancher Girl carried Sally’s calf up to the house. They brushed the snow off their boots and then brought the calf into the kitchen and laid her down on a wool blanket and set her by the fire. The calf went right to sleep.
That night Amie and Rancher Girl took turns babysitting the calf. The calf needed to be fed by hand and they had to let the calf outside every hour or so. Luckily for Amie, she had a few more days off school because of the cold weather.
The calf seemed to be doing alright. Once the warmer weather came, it was allowed to go back out to the barn and Amie was very relieved that she would be able to go to school. It was really hard work looking after the calf.
“Have a good day at school,” said Rancher Girl to Amie, as she headed out toward the school bus. “At least you will get some rest today.”
“Yes,” said Amie, laughing. “It is funny, but I never thought I would be wanting to go to school.”