9. Our Neighbors, the Cows

Readers and friends — This is my seventh day in a row here ‘down on the farm’. All the oil paint fumes may be affecting my brain — hence this post. Although I’m getting the hang of IPhone posting — the photos all went where I wanted them to go, and I didn’t lose any text!

Our new neighbors moved in around the middle of June. I walked up yesterday morning to borrow a cup of milk and introduce myself. Some of them were quite friendly.

Cow

We’ve been waiting for them to move in for several months. Next to our yard is an overgrown field filled with brambles and wild berries. Michael is planning on mowing paths through it so we can actually pick the berries and make jam, but I think that is next year’s project.

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In the meantime we’ve been enjoying a few on our morning cereal, but I’ve noticed while picking them, that the best berries are always out of reach! Hmmm…think there’s a moral there?

Back to our neighbors: Next to our blackberry bramble patch was another similar patch. Last year the humans who own that part of the hillside began clearing it. They left some tall trees and fenced it in very nicely. We’ve been waiting for the cows to move in; all spring we could hear them gently lowing from fields afar. It was peaceful.

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Three weekends ago they moved in, and they were not happy tenants! The grass wasn’t green enough, it was too hilly, and it was a very long walk, uphill, to the barn! (They are just like us — the grass was up to their ears and they still complained.) Everyone was upset and many of them were very vocal. Loud bellowing, cursing, and general anger over the new digs abounded. We watched (and listened!) with interest from our back deck. It certainly wasn’t the peaceful lowing of contented cows!!

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At dusk their humans arrived on 4-wheelers to assuage them. (Yes Flossie, it IS a long way to the barn if the humans have to come on wheels.) This was only partially successful. The humans determined that no cows were actually injured in the move and left (presumably back to the barn where the cows also longed to be).

The bellowing continued into the night. Think of living next door to a train track and the train whistle blowing every five minutes — just as one has drifted off… One particular fellow was extremely bellicose. His vocalizations started out as a bass and ended as a soprano! How could I have ever thought it was pleasant? Or peaceful? It’s all about proximity.

The next two weekends they were gone, but yesterday morning they appeared again. “The cows are back,” I said as I jumped up from breakfast on the back deck and went to introduce myself properly. Our neighbors seem to have settled in to the back forty. This time they were quite friendly — only a few quiet moos. No one seemed to have any milk to lend though. I don’t know; is it impolite to eat your neighbors? (See post Owed to Dad for a conversation about eating cows…)

20120706-171944.jpgI’ve always loved cow books. Here are some fun books about cows:

Moonstruck: the true story of the cow who jumped over the moon Gennifer Choldenko

The Tiny Tiny Boy and the Big Big Cow  Nancy Van Laan

I Never Saw a Purple Cow and other Nonsense Rhymes  Emma C. Clark

The Cow who Wouldn’t Come Down  Paul Brett Johnson

There’s a Cow in the Road Reeve Lindbergh

What a Wonderful Day to be a Cow Carolyn Lesser

Daisy the Firecow  Viki Woodworth

Metropolitan Cow Tim Egan, and of course,

Click Clack Moo: cows that type Doreen Cronin