I love cows, having been a cheese maker. I was also brought up on a small holding with 4 cows, named petunia, buttercup, bluebell and protea and also having had two of my own beautiful jersey heifers, I thought that I was fine with cows. So I was asked to spread out the straw in the cow barn. “Oh I’m not scared of cows” she said when warned to be careful. Well I hoisted myself enthusiastically over the gate into the pen. One heifer, with nice sharp horns looked me in the eye and  came directly towards me, head down. Well, I suddenly didn’t feel so certain, and turned to get out of her way.Except that the gate was closed behind me. I tried to get my legs out of the way, as that is where she was aiming, flipped back over the gate, despite my age, and ended up UPSIDE DOWN with my legs in the air, and couldn’t get back over..I wasnt that flexible. Well, Luisa, my co-volunteer just watched in horror and collapsed laughing, while I still had my legs in the air. I garbled to her to help get my legs down. Eventually, when she could get her breath, she helped me back down, and we both laughed, me with relief.

My sister then reminded me that one of our childhood cows, Petunia, was very scary, and would have no compunctions about tossing us. I have since reviewed my relationship with cows. I found out later that they were a bit skittish as they are on heat, but I am not going to test that theory again.

Anyway, here we are herding the famous Gloucester cows that produce the milk for the utterly divine double Gloucester cheese. They are a vanishing breed. Only 600 in the world. The farm does not milk them, and only uses them for meat. A great pity, I would say. What distinguishes them is the white back, rump and tail.


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