Urs, a farmer from Ireland, and his wife Claudia, a doctor, write me a letter every year at Christmas. I always look forward to it. They let me know what has been going on with them on the farm and in their lives. I haven’t seen Urs and his wife for quite a while, but since I visited them some years ago, I can imagine many things that they describe so well. This year they have sent me a wonderful story that I would like to share.
Their cow, Irene (note the Swiss roots of the owners) was ready to give birth in September. The future father was a White Galloway: white wavy coat with black ears, eyes, nose and “socks”. Irene had easily given birth to a small black bull calf – a boy! When Urs had a look again two hours after the birth, there suddenly was a white cow calf – a girl! – just trying to get up. Between the two births, the mother had moved about 70 meters away from the first-born calf. Urs had brought the first-born calf to the mother and the little white sister. But now the mother cow was completely confused and insecure. She looked from one calf to the other and obviously didn’t know what was going on. She chose Kathy, the white calf. So Johnny, the little bull, became the bottle-fed calf. At first, he refused to accept the rubber spigot. But after two meals by stomach tube, Johnny had accepted the bucket of rubber teats. Since then Johnny has been thriving and is very affectionate. Johnny seeks closeness and caresses. He is neutered, but Urs and his wife wonder what it will be like when he grows up and feels the need for cuddle. The size ratio is clearly to their disadvantage!
Thanks to Urs and Claudia for this sensational Christmas story. A better than this, from real Irish lives, I could not have thought of.
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