Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Cow Tails

My Cow Horse

When I was about eighteen, I was given the cutest, little, black heifer calf by a guy who had a bit of a crush on me. Some might think a calf to be a rather strange gift, especially for your birthday, but I was thrilled. I love horses, but the idea of owning a cow had a certain appeal. Besides, she was the cutest, little thing ever. From a Holstein cow and Black Angus bull, she was about as shiny black as could be.
The house was always full of children when I was growing up, as my parents fostered children. Stevie, an adorable little boy who, together with his brother Dillon, lived with us at that time, took one look at her, and called her what became her name. That tiny, black calf grew into a lively cow named Sweetie Pie.
Now, Sweetie Pie may have been a cow, but since she was owned by someone who was very familiar with horses, she simply became, another horse. She was my cow horse. She led like a horse, tied like a horse, picked up her hooves as politely as could be, and respectfully moved over when asked. On top of all that, she loaded into a two horse trailer with no fuss or bother at all. The biggest thing of all though, was that Sweetie Pie came a-running when called.
When Sweetie Pie matured into an adult cow, I made arrangements for her to be bred to a nice, smaller, red Angus bull. I wanted her first calf to be small, so she wouldn’t have any troubles calving. I found a farmer who raised red Angus, made arrangements for Sweetie Pie to go out onto pasture for a few months, and hauled her out there.
When an appropriate amount of time had passed, certainly enough for the bull to get his job done, I called up the farmer to see if I should pick up my cow. He agreed that she was likely bred, and offered to bring her in for me. It sounded pretty great to me, though I made sure he knew that it wasn’t necessary. I didn’t want to create more work for these busy people. He assured me that it wasn’t any trouble at all, and they would bring her up to their house for me.
By the time I had the horse trailer hooked up, and was on my way, a good hour had passed. Another thirty minutes or so added onto that for the drive. Admiring all the shiny red bovines dotting their pastures as I neared, I was somewhat surprised to see a slightly larger, black cow still out there with them. Now that was a bit confusing, as she was supposed to be up at the farmyard, not still out in the huge pasture. Not thinking much of it, I supposed that they simply hadn’t found the time. It wasn’t such a big stretch, as they were always busy. No matter. I didn’t need help.
Pulling up to a field entrance, I parked, opened the trailer doors and got out a halter and lead.
“Sweetie Pie,” placing my hands to my mouth to amplify the sound, I repeated, “Sweetie Pie, come on girl.”
That black head snapped up and she stared my way, as if she couldn’t believe her ears. I called again, and this time, she didn’t doubt what she was hearing. With a toss of her head and a bit of a bellow, she leapt into action. Exuberantly bucking, she ran across the field to me. Within minutes she had a halter on and was happily hopping into the trailer. After closing it up, I continued on to the farmyard.
I found the family up at the house, just having lunch. They immediately began looking for their boots, and were about to leave their meal in a flurry of activity. When the dad spoke up, I realized what was going on. They thought that they needed to help catch Sweetie Pie. When I told them that she was already in the trailer, they were slack-jawed with surprise. Apparently they had chased her for over an hour to no avail.
“Really?” I was equally surprised, “She didn’t come to her name? That’s really unusual.”
“We didn’t use her name,” the farmer sheepishly admitted, “I guess we should have.”
I had to chuckle. Of course he didn’t call my cow by name. I could well imagine the lanky farmer standing out in his pasture, calling my cow.
“Sweetie Pie, come on girl!”
Nope, not in a million years.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB