The Babysitter

If you’ve been around a herd of cows for very long, you probably have noticed that they practice a form of daycare, or Mother’s Day Out. I’m not sure why they do this but it’s pretty consistent that during part of the day, several cows will park their babies in a safe place, usually in the shade, and under the care of one of the other cows.

Because our cows have numbered ear tags, and because I keep records, I’ve noticed a strange thing. Not always is the babysitter one of the baby’s mothers. Sometimes she’s not even got a calf of her own!

But the strangest of all was the day when I rode up on a nursery full of baby calves all spread out in the shade of a mesquite tree at the top of a hill.  One of the bulls was lying on his elbows, guarding his charges! It looked like a Spanish fighting bull teaching a kindergarten class. I almost fell off my horse laughing. I really didn’t know that bovines practiced women’s lib!

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