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For Love of Jersey Cows

Short story.

(Disclaimer: there may be other good milk cow breeds out there. But a Jersey is what I got first and she stole my heart.)

An old timer who lives close by used to be the only other crazy milk cow owner for miles around.

Sporadically, I would swing by his shop for fresh cream with which to make butter.

He’s a butcher by trade. He would open his meat cooler, bring a full five gallon of cream out. From his butchering table he’d grab his long knife sharpening tool, wipe the blood and gore off with a paper towel. Use it to stir the cream thoroughly. Run his finger around the inside of the five gallon pail, lick his finger off, and pronounce it good. “Mmmmm, I love that on my cornflakes in the morning.”

No longer does he milk, as he did for 60 years. He quit because of back problems.

Where’s a girl to get cream? She buys herself her own cow.

So I take him a pint of cream. He says, “You have a milk cow?”

”Yes, a Jersey.”

He says, with a far off look, “I used to have Jerseys.” We share a companionable silence… then he says, “They’re good cows.”

“I know, they are good cows.” I say. Then, hastily, lest I am viewed as a Jersey snob, I say: “If you get a good one.”

“They are good cows,” he repeats. “Speak English to them, and they will understand you.”

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