Contest for Writer's Cramp... this one is partly true.
|Our little Holstein bull calf was the sweetest thing you ever did see. My daughter, Emily, was to raise him up to feeder size, using the money to help pay for her books in college.
The problem was, Emily grew to love Moses. And Moses loved Emily. She fed him milk from a bottle, gave him electrolites when he had the scours and almost died, and sang him to sleep at night while she sat in the straw with his head on her lap. They were inseparable.
Our barn cats were black and white, too. In all actuality, Moses thought he was one of them. He licked at them tenderly and they rubbed up against him lovingly.
Moses was special.
But then it was time for him to leave.
Emily went out to the barn and lay with her 550 pound buddy. I'll never forget peeking through the window, Moses' head lying on her legs while she sang to him, pausing only to wipe her tears and runny nose.
I ran into the grassy pasture, warm tears streaming down my cheeks. My heart ached deeply for my broken-hearted daughter.
Suddenly I stumbled upon an old milk can. Standing it upright, I noticed through my puffy eyes a beautifully painted farm scene with black and white cows grazing in the green grass and a little blond-headed girl, smiling at a newborn calf.
My hands instinctively rubbed this faded masterpiece.
A cloud of smoke escaped through a rusty hole near one of the handles. Patiently I watched the hazy fog diminish, leaving a red and white Holstein cow staring straight at me.
"What?" Did that cow just talk to me?
"Three wishes," she repeated. "But be careful what you wish for."
What the heck?!?!
So I sat there, pondering on all the things I could have... money, youth, great body, be a published author.... etc. Well, I was about to tell Miss Cow Genie exactly what I wanted when the memory of my daughter's broken heart reminded me of why I sat there... in front of this 1000 pound-plus red and white Holstein.
"I wish that Moses..." (I almost said, '.....would never die or be eaten.' But then I thought if this wish came true, HE would live and WE would eventually die... and hopefully not be eaten.)
"I wish that Emily..." (I almost said, '....would never be sad again.' But then would she carry any compassion while others hurt with hearts broken?
This was harder than I had imagined.
"I wish we..." (I almost said, '....had never bought Moses, who was putting us through all this grief.' But then I remembered what my husband had said about how Moses would have a good life while he was here with us.)
I stared long and hard at the red and white cow before speaking...
"I cannot wish for something when my wishes would only take away from what's important."
Slowly, I turned and walked back to the barn.