I’ve posted several times recently about BP–because people often ask about her. I promised I would let you know when she was gone. Some readers don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention putting BP down. Winter is hard on BP. She slipped and fell twice last winter, and both times I needed the help of two men to get her back on her feet. She’s an elderly cow, and she’s always had a limp, ever since before I got her. I didn’t want to risk her falling again once the weather turned the ground icy and slippery. I didn’t want her to suffer. Besides the chance of her falling, she has trouble keeping weight on anymore. That happens with older livestock just like it does with people.
One person asked recently if I couldn’t just take her to another “safer” farm where she could live out her life. My farm is as safe as any farm. In fact, there’s quite a bit of flat land here. I put her in the safest pasture that I have. A friend of mine had his cow somehow manage to fall backward into a water trough the other day, land upside down, and get stuck, and that cow was in a stall. There’s really no place you can put an animal where they might not figure out how to get themselves into trouble. (They’re kinda like little kids.)
I wanted to give BP one last summer and fall of green grass and sunshine, here, at her home. I was planning to bring her into the back barn yard for the first couple weeks of December, let her spend some time with Glory Bee, then have her put down with the kindness and respect that she deserved. But BP was always ready ahead of time, like a good milk cow, standing at the gate waiting to be led to the milk stall.
She did not wait for her appointed hour.
I had it all planned, how I was going to make it so special, for her. Or, you know, DUH, for ME. The couple of weeks with Glory Bee, the chosen person to put her down for me, and so on….. And BP said, “Woman, you were always too slow.”
BP with her flower the day I took her to the bull.
I check on her every day. Yesterday, I was up in the field and found a downed fence and a horse out, so I spent quite some time fooling with the subsequent shenanigans. See here.) When that was finally settled, I went back to look for BP, because I hadn’t seen her when I’d been dealing with Zip, Shortcake, and Poky. I found BP just off the path to the creek coming down off the upper pasture. She fell and hit her head up against the trunk of a tree. From the angle of her head to her body, there’s no doubt she broke her neck. As hard as it was to find her that way, I was glad, too, because she didn’t suffer. I’m sure she died instantly.
She taught me to be patient–with her patience. Oh, how she put up with my early milk maid efforts, and how she quite often put me in my place. She was gentle and stern all at once. She taught me kindness and determination and persistence and how to listen to the birds and feel the beat of the sun on my back. She taught me a lot more than just how to milk when I sat at her udder. And she gave me my Glory Bee.
Rest in peace in your great green yonder, my Beulah Petunia. I’ll never forget you.
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