Beth and I each picked out a heifer, and our selection says a lot about the difference between men and women. I picked the biggest and baddest of the bunch, while Beth chose the smallest and saddest.
We named the bigger one Cleopatra and the smaller one Nefertiti (and for the record, I wish to assure Michelle Milken that these names are not indicative of some Middle Eastern terrorist plot on our part).
I have put out a feeler that perhaps we could change Nefertiti's name to Heifertiti, but at this point in time the idea is lacking traction.
The Galloways are low maintenance because they have been bred through the years to survive in the harsh, scrubby highlands of Scotland. In other words, they can eat just about anything that grows, regardless of nutritional value.
We kept them in a holding pen the first evening, where they drew quite a bit of attention from the other animals. The bouvier des Flandres named Opie is used to us bringing home new wildlife, but was completely unprepared for the sheer size of the new additions. He came bounding out of the house to play with the little goats, oblivious for the moment of the monsters that lurked a few feet to the east.
In mid-stride they caught his eye, and there was a discernible "WHOA!" moment as he tried to grasp the significance of these creatures that were five to 10 times his size. "Bouvier" means cattle dog, so buried somewhere in Opie's instincts, one would think, is an index card dictating proper interaction. You could almost see him mentally flipping through the files: "Cattle, cattle; see 'herd.'"
His default response is to give chase, but these cows weren't going anywhere; they just stared back at the dog, enormously unimpressed.
The only beasts that do bother the cows on occasion are the donkeys, who might be playing or might be plotting a kill, it's hard to tell. It's almost exactly like "F-Troop." I'll see Cleopatra and Nefertiti ambling through the field, while high up on the ridge, stalking the cowvalry, I can see what look like four Indian feathers. These feathers, I know, are actually ears, and are attached to two Very Bad Donkeys just out of sight over the brow of the hill.
Nothing much ever happens, largely, I suspect, because the cows easily outweigh anything else on the place. On a farm, size matters.
Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324 or via e-mail at email@example.com. You can listen to his podcast, The Rowland Rant, on www.antpod.com.