Last time I wrote about Bella, two days ago, I wrote about how we were hoping our newest addition would soon get used to us. If we are going to have her as our pet and maybe milk her one day, she needs to be friendly (at risk of anthropomorphising again).
We decided to go out to the cows every night, except last night we couldn’t, so we went out tonight, when the children were in bed. At the sound of Monte putting pellets in the feed bucket, we heard Bessie mooing. As we walked down to the paddock she literally trotted over to us. Whilst she is not really a fan of being patted without the incentive of food, she is not afraid to stick her head in the bucket and she allows us to pat her all over when doing so. I used the opportunity to pull grass seeds out of her coat. She smelled warm and damp and sweet and sour.
She even ate out of Monte’s hand. Aw.
So Mr T was really interested in the pellets but because (sorry) he is just a walking sausage, he didn’t get many pellets. But he did do lots of photo bombing!
It was Bella who we were really focussed on.
She wasn’t really fussed about coming too close to eat these strange pellets. However, when Monte threw some out to her she ate the grass down to the ground, she loved them so much. So he threw the pellets out to her again and she ate the grass right down, practically breathing in these yummy treats. And then she looked for more. This time, Monte made her work a bit harder for it. He squatted down on the ground and threw the pellets out so they were just in front of the bucket. She ate them all. He threw more out, but this time closer to the bucket. She ate them all. She looked for more…
And then she stuck her head in the bucket and ate the pellets from the bucket! Just like that!
And then she allowed Monte to pat her! Just like that! She skipped away the first time he touched her but when he patted her again she just kept eating, and Monte kept patting her and she kept eating. It was cool.
We felt really pleased as we walked back up the hill to the house. We thought that it might have taken Bella a bit longer to eat from the bucket and we weren’t even imagining being able to touch her so soon.
I am wary. I am wary because I love my animals so much. I love my dogs and I even love my cat. I love my chickens. I don’t love my sheep yet but I love my cows. I love Bessie because she is so sweet and we have known her since the day she was born. I love Mr T because he will feed us beef for most of a year. I don’t love Bella yet because I don’t know her very well, but I think I will get to know her really well really soon, and I know I could easily fall in love with her. I know I should keep an emotional distance from my farm animals, but I am not that sort of person. I will develop a relationship with my animals and they will mean so much to me that when they die I will be devastated.
But that is the risk we take with life, isn’t it. If we don’t do things because we are afraid, then we will miss the boat and possibly regret it for ever. If we didn’t move here, to lovely Tassie, because we were afraid of missing friends and family and doing something new and challenging, I would not be sitting here right now, writing about the new cow who ate pellets out of the feed bucket for the first time. I would not have watered 11 vege beds in the evening, with my husband and our-naked-but-for-a-nappy-and-gumboots toddler. And I probably would not have such awful hayfever!