Originally I had planned to re-post my unvalentine’s daypoem, but then last night I heard a love story that I think
needs telling. It’s the story of Bunny and Alex, and it comes to me by way of my horse-riding sister who is sometimes Pam and sometimes Mandy in this blog, because neither one is her real name. Anyhow, last night Pam and I were having one of the marathon phone conversations we have on average twice a week, and I inquired after Russell’s health (Russell being a calf she bought so she could practice cutting in her home arena).
“Russell’s long gone,” she said.
“Why?” I asked. “I just used his name in one of my stories (which is true).
“He liked to play too rough,” she said. He liked to play tag with the boys, which was fine, but when I would go in and try to feed him he would hook me in the side of my leg, and he was just too big. And besides, he wouldn’t cut anymore. He’d just stick his head through the arena bars and stand there.”
I forebore to tell her that this is what happens when your sons play tag with your cutting steer, and worse, break him to ride. It’s no wonder Russell didn’t take cutting practice seriously. Anyhow, she gave Russell away and obtained four more calves who still thought that having a horse run at them was a scary thing.
“Don’t name them,” she told Alex. Alex is my nephew’s girlfriend, who helps with the kennels and rides with Pam. “These aren’t going to be pets. They’re cutting practice calves, and when they’re too big we’re going to get rid of them and get some more.”
Within a few days all four calves had names.
In spite of that, though, three of them retained their status as cutting calves. The exception was Bunny. Bunny loves Alex, and Alex loves Bunny. It started with feeding, of course, and then it expanded to Bunny liking to have her head rubbed, and then she started following Alex around, and then, as was probably inevitable, given that my nephews had broken Russell to ride, Alex decided to try her hand at riding Bunny. I have a lovely video clip of the experience, which I can’t figure out how to embed here, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.
All was not beer and skittles. Bunny might love Alex, but not necessarily on her back, it turned out. But Alex persevered, and now she has a fine steed, broken to saddle and modified bridle. And Bunny? Bunny’s future is secure. For now she’s a riding cow. In a few months she will experience the wonder and magic of True Love, and then Motherhood. And being a milk cow (yes, you can milk cows that are not specifically bred for it).
I like to think of Alex and Bunny, raising their children together, Alex teaching her children to ride cows, and Bunny teaching her calves to be ridden. Happy Valentine’s Day!