Happy Mother’s Day
You know what I love about a lot of nonhuman children and their mom’s? It’s always Mother’s Day. Last year, I was all “read my super sad post” that makes me cry to read and I wrote it! You should of course read it and spread the word that cow’s milk is for calves, so stop drinking it, yo. It’s important, but here is a more lighthearted look at motherhood, at the sanctuary.
I know, it’s like an IV injection of The Cute, but you can overdose and it is okay. Lenny is the munchkin on the left and Virginia is his mom on the right. Virginia thinks humans suck. It’s cool, I don’t take it personal.
That picture is from 2008, and Lenny still treats Virginia like he did at the age of 4-months. Don’t think for one moment Lenny can sass Virginia. Or disrespect her noble, perfect ways. I’d give him license to if Virginia often encouraged him to run in traffic or something. But she didn’t. She was always there for him.
And she’s an old mom! She was 8-9 when she had Lenny, which in human years is having a kid at age 70*. Virginia put up with a lot of Lenny’s antics, including climbing on her and head-butting her and generally acting a fool as he went through his turbulent teen months. He returns the favor now by being a very good sheep in her presence (out of her sight, he is also a good sheep).
Now, not all mothers are as tolerant as Virginia. Some rule their offspring with an iron hoof**.
This is Sadie with Summer when he was a little bean sprout. Sadie isn’t Summer’s biological mom, but motherhood doesn’t care about genes, it’s gene-neutral***.
Sadie never knew her own calves…or her own mom. She had to develop her own mothering style when The Boys arrived, two male dairy calves who were torn from their own moms right after birth. So far none of them are jerks, so she’s doing something right.
But she takes this stuff seriously. If The Boys are off joy-trotting around the farm, and she knows they’re up to no good, she’ll let out this piercing bellow. It is super important to listen to Sadie, or she will beat you down. I am so kidding (I’m not), because Sadie is Gentle (Iron Fist) in a beautiful, soft, black-and-white Holstein. Proven fact****. And when The Boys listen to Sadie, they get groomed. Cows love to be groomed. If you know a cow and want to be her friend, get a wet towel and rub her neck in an upward fashion with it. It simulates a cow’s grooming tongue. It’s one of my
secret methods to befriending shy cows. Safety note: Don’t be silly and just walk up to any shy cow. Or any cow you don’t know, for that matter. I saw a dog do this once and a mother cow sent him flying fifteen feet in the air. Dog was fine, but please to be respecting the cow’s authority and 1,200 lb frame.
Also, sometimes, when I watch Sadie watching The Boys doing something really dumb, I can’t help but think she is internally rolling her eyes. I am actually rolling my eyes, so I always tell her I’m doing it on her behalf too.
So every sanctuary has an oops clutch. Chickens cannot be safely neutered, and try as we might to collect eggs every day, there is always going to be one hen who is all crafty with her nest-making. Dorothy, this little chick’s mom, is one of those hens. She is also hardcore. You know why this chick is all brave and glaring at me? Because he knows Dorothy will take me out if I do anything stupid. Fierce chicken moms are the best.
And just so you know, not all moms want to be moms or even like babies all that much. That’s totally cool, and if you are a cow, I still love you so much it’s ridiculous. I love cows that much, people. If all cows wanted to do was eat my brains, I’d be dead, but I’d die happy.
You’re probably all AWWWW, that cow is so cute protecting those calves and all! WRONG! Elsa doesn’t care an inch about those two calves. In fact, when she first met Freedom (the peep in the middle), she shoved him into a creekbed! True story. I was all, “Freedom! ARE YOU OKAY!!!” and Freedom was judging my reaction and instead of just shaking it off, he let out this pitiful MOOOERP and leaned into me, glaring cute daggers at Elsa. He was totally like those toddlers who will cry over a scraped knee if you, their ever vigilant and hyper-concerned parent, makes a big deal about it.
And then he tried to make friends with Elsa again, and she was all go away, you twerp. Seriously, that’s what she said in the thought bubble I made for her.
Elsa got over her disdain of Freedom and Summer, especially now that they are strapping young steers. Still, gotta love a cow who has had enough of being a mom and is ready for retirement.
So I love you, moms. Keep up the good work.
*Not scientific fact.
** Which science should invent for cows, because they’d be styling!
***Someone should make a shirt, I’d totally wear it.
****And I only ever lied about facts a couple times in my life. Also, at what point should I stop asterisking the heck out of this post?