A Calf Without A Rope

Editor’s Note: The following story comes from Herb Morgan, the first Canadian pilot to serve with MAF-U.S., first flying in British Guiana (now Guyana) in 1964. He eventually became the executive director of MAF Canada.

I once received a call that a mission station located deep in the interior of British Guiana wanted us to bring in a calf so they could start a herd of cows. Transporting cows by road is preferred due to the sensitive nature of their stomachs, but this station located 150 miles away was 75 miles from the nearest road.

So, we loaded this calf into the back of a Cessna and tied the calf’s feet together. We placed all kinds of boxes around it for the trip to make sure it couldn’t move around or get loose.

MAF livestock transport in Ecuador

This calf was disembarking from a flight in Ecuador.

Upon landing, we were immediately descended upon by local villagers. Many of them had never seen a cow before and were in awe of the animal.

As we began unloading the cow, something became readily apparent––we had no rope to control the cow with. The missionary volunteered his belt as a restraining device, which was then slipped around the cow’s neck.

While this calf had been extremely docile for the entire flight, the moment they unbound his feet, he took off running for the jungle. It seemed like the entire village was chasing after it, trying to keep it from darting into the jungle and getting lost. And at the back of the pack, was the missionary, running after them as he tried to hold up his pants.

It was quite a sight––and a good reminder to never fly a calf without an extra rope on hand!


  • Dianna says:

    What a fun story! Thanks for sharing, Herb!

  • Grant Martin says:

    Loved that story Herb! I haven’t seen you since the dedication of a Partenavia in Guelph back in the mid 70’s.
    I ended up with an airline career for 39 years. Not sure if you are still here or in glory. Great memories!!!

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