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