Snowball came from a long line of cattle that had been in our family. Her great great grandmother, Pansy was a little Ayrshire cross cow, that Dad had had originally in the milking herd. I don't recall much about Pansy, other than that she met her demise in the barn, the victim of a lightning strike. Dad dragged her dead carcass back into the bush (dead stock removal and burial were unheard of in those days - we just referred to the rotting carcasses as wolf-bait).
Pansy's daughter Sally was a blocky little red, white faced cow, sired by a Hereford bull. Sally's most unforgettable feature was her thick curling horns, which curled round her ears and threatened to reenter her skull.
Sally's daughter, Sandy, was a beautiful blonde white faced cow, sired by the first Simmental bull in our area in the late 1970's. Sandy's claim to fame was the fact that over the course of her long productive life, she birthed and raised no less than three sets of twins, quite a remarkable feat for a cow.
Sandy's daughter, Blondie was much like her mother but no real remarkable features, except for the fact she became mother to Snowball.
The next summer, was the summer I met my better half and decided to move to Eastern Ontario. I had a young Limousin bull running with the herd, and unknown to me, nine month old, Snowball and he had a brief liason, which basically left me with a pregnant adolescent.
By midwinter, after the move, it was obvious that Snowball was in a maternal way. I was concerned because she was only about 18 months of age and not particularly well grown at that. Fortunately I was around the morning she decided to produce her illicit lovechild. I worried needlessly, it was a quick and relatively easy delivery. She was quickly on her feet, maternal instincts very much intact. From the first protective bellow, I knew this was a young cow not to be trifled with.
|Our Snowball as a mature cow.|
She did make visits interesting once our daughters arrived. She didn't seem to be particularly aggressive toward them, but we were always cautious. But she had only to spy my wife, and out came the nastiness.
When we would drop hay from the mow into the manger below, my eldest daughter loved to be dropped the few feet onto the soft pile of hay. More than once her little bottom made contact with Snowball's snout, who would promptly toss her across to the other side of the manger, onto another pile of hay. Of course my wife lived in mortal terror that Snowball would hurt our little one, but it seemed more of a game than anything else.
We kept Snowball until we sold the entire herd, and then she paddled off on the truck with her mates. I've often wondered if she went into another herd, and if so did her terrorism continue with new victims?
And that is about all I have to say for today.
Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.