Monday, February 22, 2010

Save Squiggy!

It was a fine Spring morning. The air was losing the cold sting of winter, little green shoots of grass were beginning to appear in the pasture, and bright rays from the sun warmed my skin.
Really a nice day for a walk.
The cows had not been seen in the pasture for a day or two so I decided to put on my boots and stroll down to see what they could be doing at the bottom of their hill. As I came along the fence, I saw the two cows curled up near the pond. When I approached they both got to their feet. Yet something looked a little funny. One the cow's belts seemed a little off for some reason.
I watched as the "glitch" moved and there, along side his mama, was a new little calf. He had been right in line with his mom, his belt lining up to her belt.
Here was our first calf. We had brought the two cows home to our pasture the previous summer and had anxiously awaited Spring to see if we would indeed have calves.
He seemed so tiny, not much bigger than my corgi and certainly smaller than our German Shepard. He was a bit wobbly on his legs but took a few steps. I just stood and watched for a while, amazed with this new little life born in our pasture.
Squiggy is a calf from our cow named Shirley. She is a very gentle, calm cow.
The next month Squiggy got a cousin named Smudge. Smudge was born from our cow Laverne who is much more high-strung and nervous. While Squiggy took on Shirley's gentle nature, Smudge picked up his mother's nervousness and has been a bit of a problem in our pasture as he has grown bigger. Smudge has been good steak and roast material for a while now.
Squiggy, on the other hand, has become quite used to us and comes to the fence so we can hand feed him and pet him on the nose.
In the Spring of last year, Squiggy got a little sister named Elvis. Smudge immediately was jealous and would try to stomp on the new little calf. Squiggy would always come to the rescue of his little sister and drive Smudge away. To this day you will find little Elvis tagging along Squiggy and he watches over her and protects her.
Squiggy has been such a pleasant friend to have in our pasture. He follows the kids around. Squiggy ruins every game of hide-and-seek the kids try to play because he stands right outside of their hiding place and moos. They can find no way to get him to leave. He eats his treats right from our hands. When David feeds the horses, Squiggy is right there nibbling on David's coat or rubbing against him.


There comes a time in the lives of steers out here when they go to meet the butcher. My husband can see no sense in having an 800lb "pet" in the pasture that just consumes and gives nothing in return. He set up an appointment for both Smudge and Squiggy to go meet the butcher.

The kids and I have been brainstorming ways to save Squiggy. Originally we thought we might just spray-paint Squiggy's belt black and run him into our neighbor's pasture to live with his herd. Then we saw our neighbor separating his herd and loading his steers into the trailer bound for the butcher's shop. So much for Operation Black Belt!
Our next plan was Operation Liberate Squiggy. We thought we might just go animal-rights-activist style and open the gate to let Squiggy run away. Only we found out that cows don't get very far because they stop to eat really often. Also, the countryside here is full of nice farmers who like to introduce steers to the butcher. So that plan went to the scrap heap as well.It is rather difficult to find a closet big enough to hide an 800lb animal in.
We've worked on teaching Squiggy to climb trees but that was rather unsuccessful as well. However, the doctors do assure us that Joe is going to be o.k., though a bit flat perhaps. If you'd like to visit Joe at the hospital he is in rooms 23 through 26.

We have finally decided that a social "moo-ment" might be the only way to go. It is time to appeal to my husband's good heart. We know that deep down inside he really does not want Squiggy to meet the butcher either. We need you all to help us let him know that Squiggy really doesn't have to meet the butcher.

We are launching Operation Save Squiggy. Sound off and let us know what you think. You can post your comments here or send messages to
If we can get enough signatures then Squiggy will be able to remain a happy pet in our fields to grow old under the blue sunny skies living his days out frolicking in green pastures and playing in the ponds. We are appealing to you now for your support.

Help us Save Squiggy!

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