Monday, June 06, 2011

The reunion: a cow tale

Way back in April Cliff put up electric fence to keep the horses off the lush grass; he put a gate in that cows could go through, but horses could not.  Bonnie's momma didn't raise a fool, and all I had to do was lure her through the gate with a can of feed one time; from then on, she entered and exited through that gate.  
Her son Clyde, however, never figured it out.  So while his mom goes to graze the tall stuff that would founder horses, Clyde nips short grass with the horses.  
Cliff got the hay baled today, and started putting it in the barn; he'll finish that task tomorrow before he goes to work.  At some point this afternoon, I asked him, "Have you seen either of the cows?"  
"No," he answered, "but Bonnie's in one of her two cool, shady places out back, I'll guarantee you."  
"What about Clyde?  Have you seen or heard him today?"  
When Clyde starts wanting a sip of milk, he usually bellows at Mom.  She's never in a hurry, but she loves her big old baby and eventually comes up to comfort him with some nice, warm milk.  
Somewhere around four this evening, I heard Clyde bawling and breathed a sigh of relief.  The cows are alive and well.  
A couple hours later, as I was sitting in the cool of the air conditioner, I heard Bonnie bawling over and over.  This could only mean that she didn't know where her calf was.  
In case your wondering:  yes indeed... I know my cows' voices.  They sound nothing alike when they moo.  
I'm still moving around pretty slowly with my gimpy knee, but I figured I'd go call for Clyde and reunite the pair.  Then I got a thought.  
I haven't milked Bonnie since my surgery, which was three weeks ago today.  If she hadn't seen her calf since morning, perhaps there would be enough milk for me to steal some before their reunion!  I hurried into the house, set up the jar and strainer, and headed out with the milk bucket.  Sure enough, I could tell by looking at Bonnie's udder that she had plenty.  Finally, some decent milk that doesn't taste all watered down!  Maybe I'll even use some cream on our strawberries tomorrow.  
I came in with a gallon of milk in my bucket, strained it and put it away, and then went over the hill calling Clyde, who came running and bucking and bawling as fast as he could.  Bonnie was bawling back at him, but by this time she had developed laryngitis from all the vocalizing; so he couldn't hear her from a distance.  Oh, and I did leave two teats untouched for Clyde.  Not that he needs milk at this stage of his life.  

They finally got together.  Clyde only has a couple of weeks to enjoy this pleasure; then we'll either butcher him or take him to the sale barn.  If we butcher him, we're going to have to get another small freezer.  


  1. Sounds like you are doing well with your knee!

    I know there is no comparison in the cow's milk and store milk! I'm glad you got some to enjoy!

    Poor Clyde!!

    I enjoyed seeing Cliff doing the haying. There has been quite a bit of that going on around here in the county as of lately too! Perfect weather for it.

  2. I've never tasted the real milk, never! Glad you got some! Poor Clyde....isn't it hard to name them and then butcher them. We were talking about that last night. My grandfather always had a couple of pigs for butchering when my Momma was growing up. They wouldn't name them so it would seem less personal when they were ditched. But I know you would have had to call them Pig A and Pig B or Cow 1 and Cow 2. lol I guess I better get back to work. It's been a good lunch of reading blogs.

  3. Clyde is about the size as Bonnie now. Nice that you got some fresh milk. Bet the new calf would have loved some of that. Helen

  4. Dear me, I don't get here often. what surgery did you have or do you not want to say...was it gallbladder like me?

  5. Dah, I read down and see that you have your knee whacked...good luck.

  6. I'm with the writer who thinks that naming a cow and knowing their moos would make it hard to then eat him. Or maybe if it's a him, he's not a cow? I'm not at all sure about this farm stuff -- never had any fresh milk from the cow (I doubt I'd like it -- not enough presevatives in it to suit this city girl). I can understand the reality of the farm life (yeah, I eat hamburger with great gusto!) I just never had to eat anything I knew personally. I really enjoy reading about this stuff -- but I think I'll stick to the innercity living. M.


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