One night in early autumn I was awakened to the sound of short, sharp moos. I instinctively knew that this was Bridget and the mooing continued through the night. The next morning, Grandpa says to me,
‘Joseph Alphonsus, there’s something troubling this animal. We might have to call the vet.’
The mooing continued the following night and sounded like a cry for help. Each moo was much more prolonged, lasting maybe the length of a semibreve.
Granda dashed into my room and told me to go to the byre and find out the problem. I threw on my shirt, trousers and boots and raced to the byre. I pulled over the milking stool and sat down beside her, petting her on the forehead saying,
‘Poor Bridget. Please tell me your problem.’
She looked at me with those beautiful big brown eyes and said,
‘Joseph Alphonsus, I’m luck’n’Away.’
I was overjoyed and ran frantically down the yard into the house and up the stairs into Granda’s room, yelling,
‘Great news, Granda. Great news. Bridget is luck’n’Away!
She wants to be a mammy!’
Granda told me to fetch the bicycle after the morning’s milking and cycle to Stanley McKinleys in Mullaghglass and tell him to prepare the bull, for Bridget is on her way!’
Granda gave me his good Sunday walking stick and Bridget and I set off for Mullaghglass. We came to our first T-Junction to turn right but Bridget wanted to turn left. She stood stubbornly in the middle of the road, causing traffic chaos.
I gave her a few slaps on the arse. I was angry and asked her what was the problem. She said she didn’t want to go to Patsy McKinley.
I told her it was Stanley, not Patsy, but she said that Patsy was the name of the bull.
I then asked her where it was she wanted to go. She looked at me with saddened eyes and asked me to take her to Dart Sands in Crieve. I told her Dart Sands mightn’t have a bull.
‘Dart Sands is the bull’, she answered.
… more later …