Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Cow

Many years ago I 'worked' on a dairy farm.  I helped out with the milking chores.  I worked with an old Farmer and often his grandson.

It was always a pleasant place to be in the winter.  The cows would stand and eat their feed as we milked.  The sounds of the cows chewing, the milker pumping, and the old radio cracking out country western music was comforting.

It was Christmas Eve and I asked old Farmer if Christmas Cow was going to visit.

He laughed at me and told me there was no such thing as Christmas Cow.
Of course there was, I insisted!  Cows had to have a Christmas too!

He shook his head and went on to place the milker on the next cow which was #13.  I called #13 Miss Piggy.  She was always a mess and not very easy to clean up.  She also loved to kick the milker off.
Old Farmer said no matter who he stuck in stall #13, they always ended up to be of awful attitude.

We finished up the milking and bedded down the cows.  I walked home to my place alone in the dark.
When I got to the apartment, I stared at the lonely 7" tree that had been given to me the farmer's wife.

I gathered the little tree up and walked back to the farm and without alerting old Farmer, I put the tree up in the bulk tank room.
I left a small wrapped package on a shelf next to the tree where old Farmer would come after he was done milking.  The tag said "To Farmer, From: Santa Cow."

I had some plastic holly I'd found and so I walked down to where #13, Miss Piggy was laying quietly.  I used a a bit of twine string to put the holly sprig on her stanchion.

I tied a bits of red ribbon in areas around the barn.
Satisfied with my work, I closed the barn door quietly on all the cows who were softly chewing their cuds and crept back out into the cold.

The next morning I showed up and began to help with chores.
Farmer turned on the music and Christmas tunes played softly.

We didn't say much.  I know he noticed the bits of red ribbon and had sneaked furtive glances at me.

He got to Miss Piggy, the infamous nasty #13.  She was not a mess.  Old Farmer's eyes widened as he put the milker on her.
He stood next to her waiting for her to start kicking.
Miss Piggy quietly chewed her cud and stood rock still through the whole process.

He pulled the milker off her and then noticed the Holly Sprig attached to the stanchion.

He looked at me and I shrugged.

I said, "Hmmm, Christmas Cow?"

He shook his head with a slight lopsided grin.

We finished chores and went into the bulk tank room.  After cleaning the lines old Farmer stopped and looked up at the shelf where a small present lay under the little tree.
Old Farmer picked it up and read the tag.

A bright and cheerful grin slowly passed over his face.
He winked at me and opened it.

"I believe a bit of a miracle worked in this barn last night," he finally said.  "#13 did not kick off her milker and she was not filthy.  I noticed there were little red ribbons around the barn and holly on Miss Piggy's stanchion."

I shrugged.

He smiled again.
"This was a miraculous Christmas Day," he said. "I truly think I believe in Christmas Cow!"


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