Saturday, September 21, 2013

When We Got Married

My bride’s father gave us a cow.  He was a dairy farmer and so his wedding gift to us was a cow.  Technically a heifer, who for those who have never been near a dairy farm is a young female cow who has not been bred yet.  Being young and female on a dairy farm is a whole lot better than being young and male.  Which is basically the same as being young and dead.  For other than his sperm the male cow on a dairy farm is about as worthless as tits on a boar.  But that’s a whole other species and one needs to be careful not to overdo the animal husbandry topic.

I suppose being needed solely for your sperm is not all that bad a job.  If you can get it.  Most dairy farms only need one, sometimes two bulls on hand to do their thang.  There’s not a whole lot of romancing that goes into getting a cow pregnant.  It does not require a whole lot of intelligence either.  I once saw a young stud humping a John Deere 3020 Tractor in hopes of impressing.  If you happen to be born around the time the old grey bull is dying you’ve basically got the job.    

John Deere 3020, not sexy cow

So it takes a while for a slot to open up.  And Joe Farmer ain’t feeding you just to wait around for a shot at making it in the Bigs.  So it’s off to Wisnowski’s Commission Sales to be sold to the butcher most willing to pay top dollar for your sorry ass.  Probably not going to compete with Certified Angus coming out of the nation’s hinterlands but still reasonably good hamburg. 

I had visions of our heifer starting us on the road of Wang Lung in Pearl S Buck’s The Good Earth.  Only without all the other crap he had to put up with.  (Geesh Pearl, why can’t a guy just get rich and be happy?).  We never named her but knew her by her assigned number, B82.  (I still tear up when I think of that little red ear tag).  My father-in-law was going to raise B82 as part of his herd but her offspring would be our offspring and before you know it we will have a whole herd of our own, and we can start our own farm and before you knew it we would own half the county and before you knew it I’d be in the State Senate and everyone would be my friend because I could get them jobs leaning on a shovel for the State and before you knew it we’d have a boat and before you knew it B82 walked into the manure pit and drowned.

Manure Pit with Walls.  Unlike the one on our farm.

Today’s lesson?  If someone gives you a cow don’t name her.  It was a hell of a lot easier saying goodbye to B82 than it would have been to Clover.

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