Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dinah's sneak preview

For the past week or so, when the cows go out for their daily exercise they spend the first part of their recess standing at the fence – gazing intently toward the pasture. I think they can smell the grass growing.

Even Dan noticed the greener lawn. Running across the grass one afternoon he suddenly stopped, as if noticing for the first time that the ground was green again.

"Eat grass," he said as he dropped to his hands and knees and lowered his head to the ground like he was going to take a bite.

"No, no, honey," I said. "Cows eat grass; little boys don't eat grass."

He might have been following Dinah's example.

Dinah is one of our old cows. And when I say old, I really mean old. She'll celebrate her 13th birthday in May. Being that she's old and stubborn (she's half Brown Swiss) and won't lay down in a stall, she gets special treatment. She doesn't get tied up in the barn. Instead, she's free to enter her stall to eat and be milked, and then excuse herself to lay down on her little mini-pack in the center aisle.

Well, twice now when Glen forgot to lower the front gate (that separates the stalls from the front pens) Dinah has let herself out the front barn door for a little sneak preview of spring's coming attraction: Eat Grass. Except that she can't access the pasture from the yard and so our lawn is her snack.

Mostly, though, she just lays down, like she's sunning herself at the beach. I imagine her ancient joints rejoice to rest on the sod.

Soon all the girls will have a chance to work out the kinks and aches they've accumulated from being cooped up all winter. And a chance to fill their bellies with sweet spring grass.

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