Sprite is a cow we brought from New Hampshire. She came to us with her mother Hannah, sister Ruby, aunt Sally and brother Hodil. From the first day on our farm, Ruby, Hannah and Hodil were tight and Sally and Sprite were a bit out of the loop.
Sprite is very sweet and friendly but is always a bit odd in an endearing sort of way.
Right away, Sally made friends with the cows already living here, and made great progress climbing the social ladder. Sprite was less fortunate; she was younger and less confident and stayed right where she was – at the bottom.
Sprite started doing everything opposite the other cows to avoid conflict – she ate while they were busy doing something else. She never got the choicest bed or was the first to eat the tastiest bite and she had long since stopped trying. She was our loner.
Gradually, Sprite became friends with Femme. Femme is a kind girl and her sister & pasture mate Bling, entertaining as she is, can be a mean girl sometimes. Bling wasn’t all that keen on this development, but in time, she came to be Sprite’s friend too. Sort of.
Her new role as a mom proved to be a little challenging for Sprite. She had no problems having the baby, she watched the baby, licked the baby and made all the right noises, but just didn’t want to stand still to nurse the baby. This became a vicious cycle as Sprite’s udder then became very swollen and painful which REALLY made her unwilling to let the baby touch it.
So, things weren’t going well – the baby kept going off by himself and he wasn’t getting enough to eat. We tried milking her and nursing him but that was a bit of a circus; after all our effort, he just didn’t want to drink from a bottle. So, I brought them into the barn and locked them in together. I really was beginning to lose hope that this little guy was going to make it.
Well, they both seemed to have figured things out because he’s doing really well – he’s a very smart, chubby and sassy boy. The only cloud casting shadows on his little world is that he had no playmates. So, I took last year’s heifers and turned them all out together.
These girls are still playful enough to enjoy giving Spritzer (yes, that’s his name) a run for his money. Well, you should see young Spritzer out there chatting up his ladies…. very cute.
But the unexpected result of this arrangement is that Sprite is in her glory. It’s so entertaining to watch her chase those girls around – they’re all scared of her. She goes WAY out of her way to chase them for absolutely no reason except that she can. She is the unchallenged Queen of the pasture for the first time in her bovine life.
Sprite’s very pleased with herself; I’ve never seen her so enthusiastic about life. She’s actually got swagger….
And, here they are… Sprite & Spritzer