… crying over forbidden milk. And who is crying? Two big ‘boofy’ bulls. And why? Please read on.
They were separated the other day because they were caught still drinking from respective Mums at 18 months old! AND, those two mobile milk factories are already working overtime, feeding two calves each.
You see, it goes like this… the Mums are mated and grow a calf inside whilst still providing limited milk to last year’s offspring. Amazingly, a couple of months before they are due to give birth, last year’s big ‘babes’ are weaned. It so happens that these two Mums are excellent milk producers, with an over-abundance of feed for their offspring.
Therefore, with a happy and eager heart, husband Kanute hopefully heads off to market (or a nearby dairy) and finds two more young calves, as fresh off their mothers as possible. These are hand-fed by bottle and then bucket for a few weeks for them to become accustomed to handling by humans, and grow strong enough to fight for a feed from their adoptive Mum.
Next step is a lock-up of Mum in a confined yard with her babe and the newcomer (and a lock-out of the big babe, just to be sure!). With a little human help, the adoptee learns to tuck in behind babe No. 1 and drink from the rear teat. When Mum turns her head to check her small attacker, she smells her own born baby and is content to let both suckle. Does she ‘get it’ that there are two drinking? Does she not care as long as her own is drinking? Who knows? And most importantly, who cares? Not her, obviously.
In an amazingly short time, both of these ‘Earth Mothers’ will let any one of their now four calves have a drink. And the babes fully realise and communicate which particular milk bar is open for business – and that particular Mum co-operates fully, to the degree we have actually witnessed all four on one Mum… briefly. Meantime, she just chewed her cud in never-ending circles of her jaw, gazed into the distance and dreamt whatever it is cows like her dream.
There’s a significant and awesome lesson here for all human beings. It has to do with love and acceptance, tolerance and understanding of needs. Dumb animals? I think not. Perhaps, as we walk the path of Life, we should not only stop to smell the roses – and pick more daisies… watching and listening to Nature and Animals would be equally beneficial.
Meanwhile, back at the farm gate, there is a moment for all good things to come to an end. In this case, it’s last year’s babe – now almost fully grown and certainly not in need of milk for sometime past. So tell him that! One ‘big bad bull’ wrecked it for both of them, by observing the new kids getting a drink, suddenly getting instant recall, and pushing them out the way to get front row at the milk bar! Hence the photo and the name of this article.
Simply irresistible to capture, after being alerted by impassioned pleas from not just one, but two bully boys, for Life as they have known it to continue forever. Methinks I heard a strong strain of ‘teat-envy’ in their many cries, with loud and bitterly expressed resentment of the new kids on the block. Such is Life.
I took a photo of the next day when the sun wasn’t even up yet, and they still hadn’t lost their voices, despite a constant barrage of calls through the night – imploring, making blackmail threats, stressing their need to survive, just shouting to try and wear down Mum and Kanute’s resolve, and over and over more piteous begging. Even sadder than this, the photo I took didn’t work out – too dark, despite the largest moon just appearing over the nearby range of low hills. I’ve told you before I’m not a camera-man’s armpit, and if you saw the deep black hole these photos seemingly fell into… well-ll-ll, you’d be a believer.
What I do have is a photo of the whole bovine family, accepting the inevitable and getting on with life (actually, as you can see from the fence that separates them, they really have no choice. The Mothers have finally committed themselves to the newest generation… exclusively. After lengthy rests following their noisy nights, every now and then one (or both) of the bulls get up, have a stretch and do a few bellows just in case. So where is this photo? Waiting in the wings, because my monthly quota of Internet is all but used up – infuriatingly enough on uninstalling and reinstalling a huge program, due to a problem caused by others… not me!