Taken form the Daily Gleaner
Vaughan Bourque was all smiles Tuesday as one of his prized herd of dairy cattle wrapped its tongue around his face.
The seemingly grateful animal was one of 70 rescued from the family's barn Jan. 31 after it collapsed without warning.
Two cows lost their lives in the incident, but no one was hurt.
"We are just trying to make the cows the most comfortable we possibly can to keep them happy," Bourque said in describing what it's been like the last couple of weeks.
The good news for the cattle and their owners is that they'll soon have a new barn.
The Bourque family of Lincoln is planning a good old-fashioned barn-raising.
"As soon as the weather is good enough - it depends on the fellow up above - we will start building," said George Bourque, Vaughan's father.
"It depends on how things go. It might be in a couple of weeks, it might be a month. The sooner the better."
The Bourques still have about 60 head of cattle at the Lincoln location and more than 40 at the farm of Glen Pye in Mouth of Keswick.
"The cows here are doing good," George Bourque said.
"The production (of milk) didn't drop. Everything is going on schedule."
The new barn will be a permanent structure, and it will be higher than the previous building.
Vaughan Bourque said he's anxious to get the rebuilding project rolling. The only thing he is unsure of is how long it will take.
"I don't know; this is my first barn-raising party," he said with a laugh.
"It will be a couple of days, that's for sure. I have all kinds of friends who are willing to take the days off to help."
Pat Goodine of Bear Island is one of them.
"I am one of the guys helping," he said. "There's quite a few farmers who have offered to help. It will go up really quick once we start.
"Some of the materials are here now for the posts and the strapping of the rafters. We are just going to go ahead and build it."
Many people are making donations.
"We sent him cheques; farmers seldom have ready cash," said one Fredericton donor who wanted to remain anonymous.
"He is so grateful for people's assistance and prayers."
Vaughan Bourque said it's difficult to put an exact price tag on the loss, but he estimated it would be more than $100,000. He said the barn was insured but not for a collapse.