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  • Julie


Luella, dam of our hearts, queen of the barnyard, was called upon yesterday by the good bovine doctor. The sight of his white pickup pulled into our drive left me feeling relieved and regretful all at once, a symptom of having never once called the vet without thinking that I have both waited too long and called too soon. I have to I wonder if I'll ever be good enough at any of this to warrant some surety? Anyways, we've been battling a mild and persistent case of mastitis, the calf and I doing our best to keep our old girl Well Milked, and Luella doing her best to allow such a thing even when the flies are more than seems reasonable for one cow to bear. Regardless of good efforts and best intentions though, there must come a point when antibiotic-free is less an important medal for her to wear than, say, is the one that reads healthy. And if I'm being honest, there are only so many mornings of my life that I can, with my pleasing personality intact, watch the cats and chickens bathe themselves in her milk while my dairy fridge hums along empty and waiting. Lovely and selfless though the thought may be, I do not milk for the pleasure of her close quarters company alone.

After deciding to treat her, our vet, competent as they come and more traditional in his care than most, suggested real fly spray now that we had un-organic-ed our milk cow. Hunh, I thought to myself as the expanse between our philosophies opened wide. A man who eyes your cow's heaven-thrust horns and reminds you there's time yet to choose otherwise for her calf, he is not the man to have faith in the potency of apple cider vinegar and essential oils. I barely even do myself. I took Luella's box of get well guck and laughed a thank you in his direction, grateful for his advice and happy to take from it only what serves. Glory be to the Milk Cow in Conflict, teats flush with antibiotics and flanks awash with some backwoods fly-shoo kitchen brew.



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