|Okay. Call it what you want . . .|
You see them in the fields. Standing. Eating. Wandering about. Staring contentedly at nothing.
They are in the barns. Being milked. Standing. Eating. Wandering about. Staring contentedly at nothing.
They care for little calves. Nursing. Licking. Bellowing. Giving the occasional kick. Ignoring.
You know them as ‘meat’, ‘milk’, ‘cheese’, ‘cream’.
We know them as aggravating, funny, stupid, perverse, blind, ornery and endlessly hungry.
And the reason we get out of bed in the morning.
We’ve called them cows, dogies, critters, some terms unprintable here.
And our bread and butter.
Our family raised Polled Herefords.
A breed known for its gentle disposition.
And beef production.
We also kept one ‘milk’ cow. Usually Holstein.
A breed known for their milk production.
Near the Stringam spread was a herd of Jersey cows.
Also known for their high dairy output.
And gentle disposition.
Dad pointed them out as we drove past. “See. Diane! Those are Jersey cows! They give milk!”
Four-year-old Diane, nose pressed against the car window, “Oooo!”
I will admit that, occasionally, things got turned around in my little girl mind . . .
The next time we drove past that particular field, I pointed excitedly to the quiet animals out grazing. “Ooo! Daddy! Look! It’s those juicy cows!”
I was right.