Once upon a time there was a cow named Milly who spent her days dreaming of finding her perfect cow mate. She would sigh from time to time feeling as though her chance of finding cow love was passing her by. She didn’t have forever after all. In another 2 years she would be 4 and would be slaughtered for beef and her hooves used to make glue. Oh, how she wanted a cow lover.
Across the pasture was another cow, Timber, who too often dreamed of love and wished for a loyal cow companion to graze in the fields with him. He had briefly courted a very pretty cow once, but she had a change of heart after her owner began injecting her with rBGH to increase her daily milk production. Unnaturally high hormonal levels didn’t seem to agree with her. He wondered if he could bear being hurt again. He was delicate like a flower inside all that strong hide that would one day be used for shoes and jackets to ensure less animal waste post-slaughter.
It seemed like love would never find its way into the hearts of these two starry-eyed cows. But then one day from all the way across the grassy fields Milly’s eye caught Timber’s eye. Their eyes latched on to one another and deep inside they each let out a small “moo”. From then on Milly and Timber were as inseparable as conjoined twins joined at the spine sharing a heart, liver, one kidney and a couple colons. They grazed together; they strolled together; they rested in the shade together. If there was anything a cow could do, they did it, and together.
Timber thought Milly was the bee’s knees. She was beautiful, charming, and had this delightfully quirky gait that she had acquired after developing Mastitis from electronic milking machines that don’t allow proper resting phases from milking. Milly thought Timber was the cat’s meow. He did silly things to make her laugh and held the pasture gates open for her at the end of the day when they returned to the barn. “He is such a gentlecow” She thought. “I am so lucky.”
Surely enough though, within a few months, after they had settled into each other’s hearts and lives, problems arose. Timber had become increasingly impatient with Milly’s need for constant attention. Sometimes he wanted to be left alone to graze by himself and he didn’t appreciate her flirting with other cows when he did. He often felt as though all he did was redecorate their grassy residence and talk to Milly about her feelings. As well, her once quirky gait was not-so-quirky.
Milly too was getting fed-up with Timber’s ways. At times he was insensitive to her feelings and he was so stubborn she would have to dig her hooves into the ground and argue for hours with him to get him to admit he was wrong. Indeed she found their relationship exhausting. She didn’t understand Timber’s need for alone time either. Was she not good company? Was it her festering Mastitis infection?
Then one morning a man from the city arrived with a large vehicle to take some of the cows to the slaughterhouse. It was early in the season, but meat was in high demand and the local grocer had reported a shortage and did not want to lose business. Milly had heard about how cattle are dehorned and castrated without anesthesia and was scared of her inevitable doom. Timber had heard how men skinning cows often discover they are still alive and was scared too. Then they put aside everything that had been bothering them for the past few weeks and held on to each other tight. Milly nuzzled Timber and Timber nuzzled back. The man walked towards them, but then swerved towards some baby cows. Veal calves were what the city man had come for. “Phew!” sighed both the cows.
Afterwards Milly and Timber headed to another field. “Life is short” thought Timber. What he had found with Milly was special and rare. Maybe he could forgive her for her flirtatious nature and overlook her emotional sensibilities. As he thought this he watched Milly head to a grassy corner and decided that maybe her gait was still delightfully quirky. Milly too thought about her own mortality and decided that Timber wasn’t all that bad. Perhaps he was stubborn and emotionally withdrawn from time to time, but she wasn’t perfect either. She looked at him and smiled to herself thinking of how tightly he held her moments before when their lives were endangered.
So Milly and Timber put aside their differences and learned to be grateful for what they had found in one another.