Cows stand in Line: A short tale of two farmyards
Once Upon a Time two farmers lived on either side of a large valley
They were distantly related many generations back, but time and circumstance had shaped their ways and they were not so much alike these days.
In the middle of the valley was a mountain stream which fed a deep lake of clear fresh water. Each day the two farmers would lead their cows off the green pasture, back up the valley to the milking sheds, and sometimes they would wave to each other, and other times they would call out their news across the narrowest part of the stream.
Farmer Brown had a fine herd of fresians. They were his pride and joy, and he knew every one by name. Whenever his cows were calfing, Farmer Brown would be there to encourage and assist. If any became lame or sick, he would send immediately for the vet, and do his best to nurse them through. And when they became too old to produce any more calves, the kind hearted farmer turned them out to pasture, and looked after them in old age, in appreciation of all the years good service they had given him.
Farmer Giles had an altogether more business-like approach to farming. He had a large herd of Jersey cows, and they were famous throughout the county for their exceptionally rich, creamy milk. He employed a farm hand to look after them day to day. The milking parlour on the Giles Estate was state of the art. It was designed to extract every last drop of creamy milk, efficiently, and without waste. The cows had no names. They had numbers marked on their ears, and a record was kept of their produce, and the resulting profit was entered into a computer along with every expense incurred along the way. Their health and well-being was a priority and the best of the local vets attended them, and as long as any treatments needed were not experimental, or for a pre-existing condition, they could have whatever the vet recommended. These fine Jerseys continued to calf and produce milk until there was no useful productivity left in them, then they too were turned out on the high pastures until old age or sickness took hold of them, and the farm hand rounded then up so that they could be dispatched with a bolt through the brain.
Farmer Brown was not a rich man, although he was comfortable enough. He enjoyed his life, and he loved his animals. His battered old landrover was a regular sight on the hill-side. He knew that his neighbour made jokes at his expense, but it didn't trouble him.
Farmer Giles grew richer and richer as the years went on. He had the best of everything money could buy, and he cut a dashing figure round the countryside in his latest model landrover, and his fine smart clothes. His distant cousin on the other side of the valley was a constant source of amusement to him. 'He treats those cows as though they have feelings!' he would snigger. 'Doesn't he know they're just there to be milked?'
A questions about the cows in this story
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Many thanks to Misha who inspired this hub in a recent comment