Most likely not every family has a cow for a pet. But we do. It wasn’t a planned endeavor but when a mother cow died after giving birth, we found we had an orphaned calf to raise and care for. I should clarify that there really isn’t a lot of ‘we’ to this story. I didn’t do much at all. The care and the duties of Mother Cow fell to my husband, Alan, and Ray, a family friend. Being the creative souls they are, and because she was an orphan, the pair named the little calf Annie.
|Little Orphan Annie...|
Annie was spoiled from the beginning. She had to be bottle fed, of course, so Alan would feed her and talk to her two or three times a day. If he was tied up for some reason, Ray would come out and give her a bottle. Besides the food, Annie got a lot of personal attention from both, in the form of petting and chatting. Annie hung out with the chickens and played with the sheep. She had the whole place to herself and explored freely. One of her favorite places to sleep was in the chicken house. I think she really just thought she was another hen. She’d back in and barely fit, but that was where she wanted to be.
|Annie and her ear bling|
I came home one day and Annie was a ways down from the gate in the middle of the road to the house. I drove up slowly hoping she would move. She just stared at me. I honked my horn and she still didn’t move. The stare was becoming a glare. Suddenly she turned, kicked up her heels and galloped a little way down the road. Then she stopped. We had to play the whole game again. After the fourth or fifth time I wasn’t having fun anymore!
|You talking to me???|
Annie and I weren’t friends. I don’t think she liked me for some reason. Maybe it was the honking horn; I don’t really know. I’d call her and she’d ignore me. She was at the edge of the driveway when I parked one afternoon. I got out, called her and she just stared. I moved towards her and she moved back. I returned to my previous position and she resumed hers. It was like a bovine waltz with one step forward two steps back. I gave up. Annie walked away and mooed. Then she kicked up her heels and bolted off.
|She looks so innocent.|
Although I don’t know the ratio of cow years to human years, I’m pretty sure that Annie was a teenager. She acted like one anyway. One day she was a nice docile cow and the next she wasn’t. Sometimes she was really naughty! She ate all the chicken’s food and made herself sick. She’d hide and no matter how much Alan or Ray would call she wouldn’t come. She’d get mad, too, and sulk. When she got her ear tag she wouldn’t look at or acknowledge Alan because he was the meanie who stuck her with that thing. She didn’t even care that she had the best tag ever because it was blinged out! Sometimes she’d nose around and get into things, like the trash barrel. She’d knock stuff over and scatter garbage around and leave her calling card of a nice big pile of poop. That’s what cows do.
|Nosy old cow...|
I was skeptical and really didn’t believe it would happen but the day came when Annie had to go live with the other cows at the ranch. Not only did she have to leave but she had to get branded as well. It was by the luck of the draw Ray got the privilege. You can imagine Annie’s reaction to a hot branding iron!
|Annie knows how to snub...|
After her first night away from home we decided to check on her to see how she was adjusting to her new digs. We arrived at the location of her new home and looked around. There were other cows, calves and even a bull around, but no strawberry blonde named Annie. So we drove. And we drove some more. We called and looked but alas, no Annie. Was she hiding because of the outrage she’d suffered at the upheaval from her loving home? Was it the anger over the indignity of receiving a brand? Or was the poor silly thing just lost in her new surroundings? Searching unsuccessfully until dusk, we returned home.
|Annie, Dreamboat Annie|
The next morning, early, Alan headed out again. Just to check. After all, it was a new place and Annie might not know where the water was if she got lost. I didn’t go. When he came in, a little before noon, it was with the good news that Annie was with the other cows, doing whatever it is that cows do all day. And she was still her flighty cow-self. She’d come when he called her but she snubbed Ray. After all, he was the one with the branding iron!
No one knows the lonely one whose head's in the clouds…
For something different I’m working on a project called kumihimo. It’s a form of weaving and the end product is a cord. It looks complicated but it’s really simple.
|The bobbins holding the different threads|
|The threads on the disk|
|The woven cord.|
Did you ever make one of those vinyl woven key chains when you were young? It’s the same thing but instead of holding it in your hands it’s on the round disk. Of course there is a lot more you can do if you really get into it but I’m just doing a simple 8 strand cord. I’ll put a pendant on it when I’m finished. It’s really kind of relaxing after you get going!
Dreamboat Annie, my little ship of dreams...