I was so excited when Granda told me that we were getting our first Friesian cow.
The following morning my four sons and I waited patiently for the cattle lorry to arrive.
It was afternoon when the big lorry reversed into our gateway: I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at this beautiful black-and-white patterned animal with a large udder of milk.
She trotted majestically down the tail-gate of the lorry and stopped abruptly and gazed at me for a few seconds – as if to say ‘I know you’.
From that moment I knew that we were heading for a happy relationship – one could say it was, ‘Love at first sight!’
I could tell by her every step and movement that this was a clever and intelligent animal.
Granda said this heifer arrived on the First day of February and she could be known only as Bridget (after St Bridget’s Day).
As she entered the byre she raised her head and bellowed out a loud ‘Moo’ to declare to the rest of the herd that she was the new leader.
Every morning after milking ‘Bridget’ would lead the herd into the field and any animal that tried to walk alongside her was head-butted and sent back to the rear. Some days she would just sit in the field chewing the cud contentedly. She loved to watch the children playing and singing and reciting nursery rhymes: especially the one when ‘the cow jumped over the moon’.
One very hot summer’s day our neighbouring farmer set fire to a huge pyramid of deadwood. A large piece of red-hot burning wood fell beside my cousin’s fifteen-month-old son.
Bridget sensed the danger immediately and dashed in front of the child.
She made a sharp reverse and pished on the burning ember.
… more later …