Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Three of my ma’s cows are dying. The other day I was talking to her on the telephone and she described how with milk fever the cow falls down or sits down and may never get up. They’re big enough animals, even the pedigree ones who are small compared to Angus (Sp?) so it’s not like you can give them a hoist and a hug like you could a cat. It was a terrible image that of the farmer devoted to her heifer and to lose it this way. A slow and painful detaching. Helpless. A wasting. Spectating. The other two have different maladies. One of the three is certain not to make it.

She described how she had to scramble to provide for her two motherless calves. They need a primary milk from the mother she calls “beastings”. She’d some frozen from last year’s calving, but it ran out. She called on a man who helped her with some of his own and a black bucket of milk to tide her over.

When I think of the incredible labour that goes into raising cows, especially the way my ma raises them, it would be like having your years of work go up in flames. And like all loss it’s final.

One Response to “”

  • Madame Beespeaker says:

    Sorry to hear about your ma’s cows. Sometimes it seems farming is nothing but heart ache.


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