“Hey Thelma, get a load of this.”
Thelma trudged her way through the mud to stare through the fence boards beside Ruth. They watched as a young girl clumsily made her way through the mud on the other side. The girl’s brows were furrowed, and her head whipped back and forth. Her glances were frantic as the others in the pen got excited and started running circles around her. Some of them kicked up their hind legs, and others leapt for joy over imaginary obstacles.
“Who’s she? Have you seen her around before?”
“No she must be new.”
One of the girl’s tall black boots got stuck in the mud but she kept on walking, until she felt the cold juices squelch up through her cotton socks and in between her toes. Her face got red and the tendons in her neck grew taut. She turned to pull her boot out. It was a strange game of tug of war between girl and the suctioning power of the mud. Finally, the girl won, if it could be called winning when it came at the cost of planting your bottom in the thick muck. The girl wiggled to a precarious standing position, with a boot in one hand and her slimy socked foot raised in the air like a flamingo.
“She’s definitely new.” Stated Thelma, slightly amused. The girl was reluctant to dirty the inside of her boot by putting it back on. One of the excited boys ran up to her and snorted, just at that moment, startling the girl. She lost her balance and her barefoot landed back in the muck. It turned out to be the last straw. The girl turned and threw her boot over the fence. Then she climbed out of the pen after it.
“Well the boys seem to enjoy her so far.”
“I don’t know Ruth, she seems a little hot headed, those ones don’t usually last.”
“Give her a month?”
“I’ll give her a week.”
Ruth shrugged in agreement before giving the fence board in front of her face a lick. A horn honked and both their heads turned.
“Oh goodie, the feed truck is here.”
Both old girls turned and picked their way through the muck. They licked their wet pink noses with their large rough tongues and contentedly chomped on their breakfast. They watched as the young girl limped past to pick up the boot she had thrown in her frustration. She peeled off her wet sock and pulled the boot back on. Giving herself a good shake, the girl then turned and let herself into the next pen. Thelma realized she might have been too hasty in her judgment. She was turning to point it out to Ruth but a rude Holstein bumped into her and Thelma had to turn her attention back to maintaining her spot at the trough.
Life wasn’t easy being a cow, but it was definitely amusing.
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