Usually, I’m riveted by the cows and their little quirks but today I was captivated by a 10 year-old boy. To know me is to know I’m not the kind of person that likes kids beyond the age of 6 months (unless you’re a really, really good friend and your kid is cute).  Children are loud and messy and more often than not, sticky.  They make me nervous.  They make me self conscious.  They make me exhausted.  But this kid, he was something else.

A group of us vetties got together this morning and headed out to a farm to help dry off the herd.  No one really knew what that meant but it sounded promising.  Think about it – have you ever wondered about the cow that gets milked?  She deserves a vacation.  And her vacation comes in the form of being in-calf (farm talk for pregnant).  But before she goes, her teats have to be pumped full of goop that helps keep them healthy and happy.  To top it off, we spray paint her butt blue and send her on her way.

Back to that kid I was so fascinated with.  As the cows were herded and moved into the milking shed, this kid, this 10 year-old kid, was moving among the cows and handling them with the same confidence as the 30 year-old farm hands.  No one was keeping an eye on him.  He wasn’t out there as a treat to go play with the cows.  He was out there working.  Orders were shouted out over the clatter going on in the shed and he carried them out.  At one point, he even questioned the reasoning behind putting the cows in a certain paddock and offered a more efficient solution.  Amazing.

I caught him watching me as I was working on one of the cows so I tried to start a little conversation.  As soon as I asked him his name, that confidence disappeared to be replaced by a shy little guy.  He seemed to sink into himself, eyes fixed on his shoes.  And all I could get out of him was a muffled reply as he scampered away.

The little dude can herd cattle twice as tall as he is and could crush him with one kick, but talking to a girl is where he reaches his limit.

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