Steam rises off the milk in my bucket in the crisp November air. Beulah Petunia feels good on my cold fingers. Her teats are natural hand warmers.
The chickens help her with her feed. In case she needs help. Before I got here, I gave hay to the goats and donkeys and filled their water bucket. Cat food goes on the back porch, dog food on the front porch. I got a bucket of feed for BP. She watches me carefully from the fenceline as I go about my chores each morning. She knows breakfast is coming.
She loves breakfast.
I clamber up the hillside with my milk bucket and her feed bucket. She crowds me when I carry feed, trying to steal the bucket, and I don’t have a third hand to hold a stick to make her stay back. The electric fence runs along the backside of the milk stand, so I climb up on the hill outside the fence.
She watches me carry the feed to the back of the milk stand, walking out of her reach.
She wants her breakfast.
I climb over the back of the milk stand with my buckets. It makes me feel like I am ten years old. Glory Bee thinks I am a funny lady who climbs over the back of the milk stand with treats. Beulah Petunia pokes her head over the gate at the front of the milk stand. She doesn’t think I’m all that funny. I make her wait a few more minutes while I tie Glory Bee to a corner post and pour feed into the box. I leave a little feed in the bucket for Glory Bee then I let hungry mommy come in.
When it’s Glory Bee’s turn, I untie her and she goes right to the milk faucet.
Cows have weird tongues.
I feed the ducks and fill up BP’s water buckets while the chickens scratch in the woods and run across the frosty ground.
I go back to the milk stand and let Beulah Petunia out. She goes right to her water buckets. She can drink five gallons like nobody’s business.
I take my bucket inside to finish my morning chores in the house. I put more wood on the fire. It’s cold and my hand warmer is outside eating a bale of hay.
It’s morning on the farm and I have milk. I think I will make cream cheese today because I feel like I could eat a whole cheesecake by myself.