Monday, August 30, 2004

Fairies & the milk

Last night I went to milk as usual. The cow, who is always standing there waiting on me (or on her grain) wasn’t there. There had been a late afternoon storm; perhaps that threw her off I thought. I “sook-cow”ed her and her bell started ringing in the back bottom and she quickly made her way through the archery gap up to our milking place (which is just in the field, usually out in the open but there is a tarped shelter we can get in if it is raining).

She nuzzled the grain bucket with her usual vigor but when I took hold of her teats they were flaccid. I got about 1/3 the milk I normally get. I felt her ears for a temperature, looked critically at her demeanor, listened to her gut (gurgle). Nothing seemed wrong. Then she burped and the smell was not awful but not good either. I figured she had gotten ahold of some plant that didn’t set real good with her or something but tons of things ran through my mind – did a stray calf come and suckle? or one of the goat kids? or somebody, could somebody have milked her? All of that is crazy of course – animals don’t act like that and any person with gumption enough to milk doesn’t need to steal.

I ran the milk up to the house and hollered at my husband to take care of it. I slopped the hogs and slipped back into the field to see if I could observe anything at all. I didn’t. Everything was pretty normal. Only thing was I didn’t see Thumb, the cow, poop and a few weeks ago her calf had gotten a blockage and we had to slaughter her. She was our beef anyway but we really do not want to lose our milk cow. Later, though, husband went down to check and everything seemed normal AND she pooped. Lots. So we went to bed figuring everything was ok.

Sure enough, this morning I got my full measure and more of milk. She was standing there waiting as usual. The old timers used to say that the fairies took the milk. The fairies are welcome to it but I wish they wouldn’t worry me so!

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