The Maple Milk Dairy Farm only had eight cows, but two of them were pregnant and they gave birth in the night within three hours of each other. The first one just had a calf that looked a lot like her, but the second one gave birth to twins, two little cows, one a typical black and white holstein and the second an almost totally black heifer who got up and wandered off not very long after she was born.
When Noreen Davis-Hudson checked up on her cows that morning she only found the two calves who had stayed with their mother and assumed that that was all the little cows that there were.
Meanwhile, the little black calf had found an opening in the fence behind the Maple Milk Dairy Farm and wandered through it to the next farm, a large communal place. She sauntered the fields there until a couple of the women on that farm found her.
“Holy cow!” Sal said. “Where did you come from?”
“Maybe it came from the Maple Milk Dairy Farm,” Viv suggested. She started petting the calf who seemed friendly enough.
“Well, it certainly doesn’t belong to us. Let’s take it back there.”
It wasn’t easy convincing the calf to go back the way that she came. Eventually Sal and Viv found the gap in the fence the calf had come through and managed to coax the calf back through it. Soon after that they spotted their neighbor, Noreen, taking care of her herd.
“Hey, there,” Sal yelled. “I think we found one of your cows. A pretty young looking one from the look of her.”
Noreen took a good gander at the calf. “Young nothing. She’s a baby. She looks like she was born this morning.”
“One of yours?” Sal asked.
“Probably,” Noreen said. “Two of our cows gave birth today. I’ve seen calves from both of them but maybe one of them had twins. It’s not common but it happens.”
The three of them took the calf to both mother cows. Neither one paid any attention to the little calf.
“It’s got to have come from one of them,” Viv said.
“Probably,” Noreen said. “But now that you’ve touched her, the mother most likely doesn’t recognize the scent. I don’t think the mother will take her back at this point.”
“So what will you do now?” Sal asked.
“Well,” Noreen said. “You found her. As far as I’m concerned it’s finders keepers. She’s your cow now.”
“Really?” Viv said.
“Really,” Noreen replied.
“Hey,” Viv said to Sal. “It looks like we’ve got a cow.”
“Yep,” said Sal. “It looks like we do.”
“Honest Luna,” Sal said. “We didn’t ask for her. She came here. Noreen doesn’t want her and says that she’s ours now.”
“Great,” Luna said. “I hope there aren’t any bison or water buffaloes in the area, otherwise I’m sure they’ll find their way here soon. I wanted a farm not a zoo.”
“I’m sorry,” Sal said. “I know you didn’t want any animals here and now we’ve got a whole bunch. But you’ve also got Strange Brew here and you wanted more farmworkers. It’s just that Strange Brew came with three baby goats.”
“Yeah, I know. And people really wanted the chickens and I believe you that you didn’t try to get the cow. It’s just not what I had in mind for the farm.”
They were walking back toward where there were now a pen for the kids and calf and people petting and playing with and feeding all of them. Nearby Dan was making a henhouse for the chicks.
“That cow looks so funny in with the baby goats,” Patsy said to Will. “She’s three times the size of any of them and they’re all beige and white and she’s so black.”
“Well,” Will said. “She seems to think that she’s one of the goats.”
“I saw one of the goats trying to nurse on that poor confused calf,” Chuck said. “I wonder if it’s asking, ‘Are you my mother?’”
“I’ve never seen anything so ridiculous looking in my life,” Viv said.
“Check out how big the little chicks are getting,” Ken said.
“They’re growing so much every day,” Marge said.
“They’ll be real chickens soon,” Broc said.
“Okay, okay,” Luna said to Sal. “I know. I can’t control everything. I had this vision of a commune and a farm but I do know that if it’s truly communal, it can’t be exactly what I want. I guess I’ll just have to see what evolves here.”
“I’m glad that you can see that,” Sal said.
“Yeah, yeah, I know it,” said Luna with a sigh. “But please, please, please, let’s have no more animals.”
And this time, fortunately, there were no more animals added to the farm. At least not for the rest of that season.