Six consecutive days of spring rain had created a raging river running by Kalash Nath’s farm. As Shela tried to herd her cows to higher ground, she slipped and hit her head on a fallen tree trunk. The fall knocked her out for a moment or two. When she came to concious, Kali, one of her oldest and favorite cows, was licking her face. The water was rising. Shela got up and began walking slowly with Kali. The water was now waist high. Shela’s pace got slower and slower. Finally, all she could do was to throw her arm around Kali’s neck and try to hang on. About 20 minutes later, Kali managed to successfully pull herself and Shela out of the raging water and onto a bit of high land, a small island now in the middle of acres of white water.
Even though it was about noon, the sky was so dark and the rain and lightning so bad that it took rescuers another two hours to discover Shela. A helicopter lowered a paramedic, who attached Shela to a life-support hoist. They raised her into the helicopter and took her to the school gym, where the Red Cross had set up an emergency shelter.
When the flood subsided two days later, Shela immediately went back to the “island.” Kali was gone. She was one of 19 cows that Shela lost. “I owe my life to her,” said Shela sobbingly.