I drove past a farm the other day and standing in the field, in the midst of the trees, grass and stream, there stood a herd of cows. They were slowly making their ways along the pasture, pulling at the grass, chewing their cud, and doing things cows do.
I was immediately taken back to my youth and the many hours we spent in the barn, milking our one cow, shoveling the sloppy manure, feeding the sweet hay. Despite the labor and filth involved, I like cows. There is a warmth about a cow that is hard to explain. They aren’t like dogs that like a good scratch or a good game of fetch. They rarely respond to their names when called. But they are gentle creatures, interested in nothing more than a good pile of alfalfa or a scoop of corn.
They are surprisingly agile, given their girth, and can place a hoof on your boot with painful accuracy. They produce mass quantities of milk which turns into butter, ice cream, or cheese and for that, and the tender steaks that come from their less fortunate cousins, I am extremely grateful.
Cows are some of my favorite farmyard animals. I am thankful for the many hours I spent leaning into one while pulling on the teats on cold winter mornings. They taught me so much about life and death, about hard work and the benefits of effort.
Indeed, God made a good animal when he made the cow.