Clara the Cow

When we settled into our hotel last night, I checked my email and found this message from my daughter Maude:

So, I heard the lawn mower stop, and I went outside to see what was up. The cows were mooing louder than usual.

I crossed the street, and I saw Mme Lucienne and her husband and the lawn mower guy.

The husband had plastic on his arms, and a cow was tied to the corner of a fence. The gate was wide open. Mme Lucienne was putting fresh hay out.

The cow was in lots of pain, I could tell. The man reached into her bottom, and pulled out some hooves. A small gold head poked out. The man was covered in blood. He untied the cow.

I saw the mom lick her baby clean. It started to rain, but only a little. Mme Lucienne and her husband went inside, and the lawn mower went back to work.

About 10 minuets later, I saw the baby try to stand up. All the other cows rushed forward. The baby fell.

A rainbow appeared in the sky. The baby stood and went under the mama.

Mme Lucienne came back out, all clean, and asked us what the baby girls name should be. Betty suggested Clara, and Mme Lucienne agreed.

The baby cow took her first steps, and ate some hay. Mme Lucienne went back inside. Betty and I went in too.


I think that might be the best email I’ve ever received! I’m so glad my kids got to see a calf being birthed (and named it too!). That’s the sort of experience that stays with you. Don’t you wish you could be everywhere at once sometimes?

62 thoughts on “Clara the Cow”

  1. What a beautiful email and an even more amazing thing for your children to experience. I am so happy I stumbled upon you on Twitter, I will be reading!

  2. marilee pittman

    Your daughter’s account of the birth of Betty is delightful. She told it with such immediacy, she could be a budding journalist. The account was so matter of fact and yet hels such suspense….

  3. such a lovely thing for the kids to experience, they will never forget it and what sweet words were used in sharing their story with there mum.

  4. This is truly the sweetest thing I’ve heard in a long time. What a beautiful moment to experience! This reminded me of a time when I was young and our cat, Abbey, had kittens under my bed in the middle of the night. I kept hearing these little squeaky mews and peeked under (somewhat horrified, somewhat bewildered) to see these little shadows crawling over my cat. I still remember thinking what a miracle I had witnessed and how fascinating the world seemed all of a sudden :)

  5. Wonderful! Great story-telling/reporting by Maude, great cow-naming by Betty. Wonderful email, blog post, etc.
    Love to all,
    Grandma Mac

  6. I follow your Olive on Instagram and saw her photo of the cow and rainbow yesterday, and now having read Mimi’s story it has all come to life in a beautiful way. Life is beautiful!

  7. What an absolutely beautifully told story by your daughter. I just loved it so much! I’ll be sharing it with my daughters when they get home from school.

  8. Isn’t it great that Maude went outside? My 19 year old sister is living with us and she keeps running out to the varanda to see if someone is calling her. 99% of the time no one is but at the same time she keeps seeing people she knows and then calls out to them and starts up a conversation. It’s so great. I need to remember to get out more, to listen to interesting sounds and allow myself to go out and see what’s beyond my schedule.

  9. What a marvelous experience! I felt that I was there and loved every minute!
    What is the mother cow’s name? Thanks millions!

  10. How wonderful that the neighbor let the girls name the cow! That is priceless. I am sure they will remember that for the rest of their lives.

  11. Whitney Smith Cripe

    This email, along with the calf’s newborn head, is pure gold. What a treasure. You should take her words and put them into some frame-able form factor…what a treasure.

  12. This is amazing. It reminded me so much of the James Herriot books. Have you ever read any of them? Start with “All Creatures Great and Small”. The whole book is wonderful stories like this.

  13. What an amazing gift! They would have never seen that in New York! I love how your Mimi sent you an email with a concise update. It must have been a pretty exciting day for them!

  14. Lovely story! I bet from the cow’s perspective it would’ve sounded much different ;) Sweet little ladies for keeping their mama abreast of all things on the homefront.

  15. When I was 10, the neighbors behind our house had a small farm with a lovely old gray barn and Shetland Ponies. Early one fall (or spring?) morning they called us over to the barn. That crisp morning at daybreak with the fog around a Shetland Pony was born. That was over 30 years ago and I will never forget it. Thanks for bringing that sweet memory to mind!

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