During my school days I was putting more effort into memorizing the faces, names and numbers of the Boston Bruins or Montreal Canadians than getting familiar with the cattle herd. So when it came time to cut out those heifers, I was at a bit of a loss. As each animal came down from the feeding ground to have their daily drink at the water trough, we kept an eye open for any of the twenty or so heifers that were to be put into their new pasture, and I had to rely on Dad to spot which ones they were.

"There's one right beside 'Big Tits," said Dad, making a move to cut her out.

I knew if some of the boys on the school bus had heard that description they'd have perked up their ears. Of course, oversize in the udder department was just another way for Dad to label a cow. In later years I did the same, scribbling down 'Big Tits' in my U.F.A. notebook, when she had her calf in the spring, knowing the newborn would need a little assistance, helping the calf to get those big old carrot-sized milkers into his mouth.

This year there was some significance added to the annual chore of 'looking over' and accessing the crop of young cows. As we spent the morning skillfully dropping the wire gate and coaxing them one by one into their preferential pasture, I was thinking, "One of these heifers now belongs to me!"

Mom and Dad told me that because I had helped out doing work around the farm for the past few years, mowing hay in the summer, shoveling grain, cleaning out the hen house and whatnot. Now I was going to be paid. One of these heifers was going to be my very first herd cow.

More about My First Cow


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