“It takes a long time to grow an old friend.” – John Leonard
Given a choice, cows are very specific about who they want to hang out with. They form long lasting and close bonds. They hold long lasting grudges too.
Babies like to hang out with other babies – I get a kick out of the Ladies taking advantage of this. I can’t say how organized this is, but they seem to take turns babysitting. The gang of little ones will be plopped together with one Mother attentively nearby.
The appointed mother changes throughout the day, though, just like human mothers, some seem to be more dutiful than others. The older mothers are a bit more casual about the whole parenting business – they don’t get worked up about nothing – but stand back when there’s something worrisome going on!
While the whole group in general is congenial, special bonds are formed early and tend to last. Zig and Axel are sons of two cows who have been together since birth. I don’t really know if they were special friends at their first farm, but they have been close since coming to us. They each had their very first babies, Zig & Axel, just one week apart.
Being born seems to be pretty tough business – I’m always amazed at how these little ones pop out with engines revving. But, they also struggle the first couple days with a sort of baby blindness. Then, suddenly, everything pops into focus and it’s off to the races! Those poor moms get run a bit ragged for a week or so as babies zoom all over discovering the world.
The most entertaining discovery is when they finally connect with each other. For some reason, it took a little longer for Zig and Axel than it did for this year’s calves. Although, for these two, it could be because Axel has always been a bit eccentric.
If Axel was human, he’d be a pajama & robe man like Hugh Hefner (without the bunnies – WAY too much energy required). Oh, he plays, kicks up his heels and makes his way to breakfast,
but every evening, regardless of what everyone else is doing, he takes his evening beauty nap.
Evening is a highly social time for the herd, so this is a little unusual. I cannot tell you how many worried searches I made for little Axel until I got comfortable with this odd habit of his.
Zig is the best kind of friend to have. He doesn’t judge Axel for his eccentric ways and he’s easy to hang out with.
These two appreciate the joys of quiet companionship. Not so much of the boyish jockeying and tussling with these boys. In fact, at times Zig is almost maternal in his sweet fondness for Axel.
Not to say they don’t engage in a lively head butting match from time to time. They’re friends, not saints. But, as true friends do, they always make up and carry on together.