Is it a speeding truck? An angry hippopotamus?
It’s just Lily, in one of her moooods.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist that pun. If you didn’t figure it out, Lily’s a Jersey cow.
But seriously, you get between Lily and her grain bin around milking time… Let’s just say it’s a good thing she doesn’t have horns.
Other than that she’s supremely sweet tempered. Two percent of the time.
On a good day.
And I’m only half joking. Hey, it’s not like cows can read.
Long story short(ish) early spring, Mom showed us this ad she found of these two cows, one black, one a creamy butterscotch brown. Once we got over the shock – you mean, we’re actually getting a real life cow? – us kids immediately picked out the brown one… I mean, her dark chocolate coloured eyes were just so dark and adorable, and what wouldn’t you do for two inch long eyelashes (Yep, I measured).
The first day Lily moos.
For three hours straight. Then it’s milking time.
To be honest, it’s a rough night. Lily is pretty cranky. They have to call me out to cow whisper her into the milking pen (I’ve always been in charge of coaxing animals) and then my Dad kind of corners her and starts milking. Mom asks, “Do you want to try?” One glance at the moody, shifting, cranky cow, and I’m shaking my head. No. Way. “Maybe later,” I say sweetly. There’s only so much a so-called animal whisperer can do.
The next day our bovine wonder bawls. All day, nonstop. Low and mournful and occasionally just desperate. We shut the windows to try and block out the mournful sound.
Dad talks to Lily’s previous owner, and discovers; Lily has a best friend, that cantankerous black cow in the ad picture, called Daisy. They’ve been together since birth. And Daisy is off, doing the very same thing, bawling for her best friend – Lily!
“You should take Lily to Daisy’s farm and they can have a play-date!” my best friend’s little sister suggests.
It takes a few more weeks of mooing, a stomach pump (the move and depression upset her stomach quite seriously) and a whole lot of cow hugging and coaxing… and Lily settles into her new family very nicely.
She likes to be brushed and petted, and she loves hugs. (Eleven year old Cal, one of my brothers, is her new bestie and they snuggle all the time. He permanently smells faintly of the barnyard.) She refuses to eat apples or carrots – apparently Jersey cows are picky. She gives us ten or so litres of sweet creamy milk every day. She also likes to be sung to, and she thinks it is hilarious to plop a cow pat all the way down the middle of the barn – but only when Dad leads her outside. So you see, Jerseys also have quite the sense of humour.