Last month I took a small group of preschool girls to a farm. One of the first things they wanted to do was to go look at the animals.There was a cow in a field, chewing her cud and taking a late morning nap. The girls cooed at her through the fence, but she was quite content and paid them no mind.
We started walking to the barn and as we got to the cow's pasture gate, she got up and met us down there, probably thinking we were going to feed her. The girls reached through the fence to pet the cow.
One little girl in particular really enjoyed petting the cow's face. She kept talking to the cow. The cow became more friendly and soon had her head pushed through the gate to get more scratches. She made this almost purr-like moo deep in her throat. The little girl kept saying, "The cow is my friend. She likes me."
I have very limited experience with cattle but have never seen a cow behave like this. Most cows in a field stare at you through fly-covered faces, then spook off if you as much as point a camera lens at them. Of course, this was a farm where children frequent.
We left the cow and continued our morning elsewhere on the farm. However, before leaving we went back to say goodbye to the cow.
The children were at the gate, petting the cow, and she mooed softly again. We let them pet her for a few minutes, then it was time to go. The cow began to moo louder. The little girl began to say, "It's okay, I'll come back and see you again." As we walked away, the cow began bellowing after us so loudly, I think the whole farm heard her. I began to worry someone might think we were harming that cow. She sounded almost pained.
It was so touching, the connection of a child and an animal. I did tear up a bit, it was a rather profound moment. I had never seen this child with animals before, nor seen a cow this responsive to anyone. Maybe it was coincidence and this cow is like this after anyone pets her. I'll never know.
But I don't think I can eat a hamburger ever again.
Just a reminder about my Mystery Foal Contest! Go HERE to enter if you haven't already. The contest will be running until Ruby foals, which is unknown but will be in the next month.