When my human mom and dad took baby Hutch away, Latifah cried and cried.
My friend, Uzzi, and I looked at each other—we didn’t know what to do.
But we Nubians cry really loudly and my mom could hear her in the house, so she wrapped Hutch in a warm blanket and brought him out every few hours so Latifah could lick him and see he was okay. But then he had to go back to the house.
Hutch couldn’t eat by himself. He was weak and cold and he didn’t have a suck reflex at all. So, my human dad made Hutch an incubator in a big, plastic box.
He put a towel in the bottom, next a heating pad set on low, then another towel, and then Hutch.
They covered him with a little blanket so he’d stay warm.
He stayed in the incubator for a whole day, then he moved to the bottle baby crate in the living room where Uzzi and I lived when we were babies.
Mom milked Latifah’s colostrum—that’s the antibody-rich first milk that mothers make—and took it inside.
Every two hours Mom and Dad fed Hutch with a stomach tube (you can learn how to do it here)
They did that for four whole days!
Photos courtesy Sue Weaver
Three days after Hutch was born, Mom came home with another newborn kid and she showed him to Uzzi and me.
She called him Meegosh. Meegosh was huge, twice as big as Hutch, and he had contracted tendons.
Mom said Emily from Ozark Jewels gave him to her to be a pal for Hutch. Emily was my first mom too, that’s why I’m Ozark Jewels General Martok.
Mom and Dad took Meegosh in the house. They put splints on his legs and placed him in the crate with Hutch. At first they ignored each other but pretty soon they cuddled together to stay warm. That’s how friendships begin.
The next morning Mom and Dad raced around like crazy.
They hauled home a bunch of hay and feed and filled all the tanks and buckets they could find with water. After Dad left for work, Mom bedded our huts extra deep with straw and put blankets on the old horses.
It got real cold as the day wore on, and then it started to rain. As night fell, the rain turned to sleet …