Wednesday 24 March 2010

Contemplating cows

Safely through the woodland, we passed a farm.

Over the years, I've been on a few school trips where that distinctive 'countryside smell' has wafted around and the immediate reaction from the children has always been a nose screwing up "Eeeugh! Pong!" The reaction always makes me laugh because, for me, the smell of cows instantly brings back very good childhood memories of times on my aunt and uncle's farm.

I remember rides on the backs of various bits of farm machinery: the tractor to fetch in the cows for milking, the baler to release the tightly bound bales of hay into small mounds waiting for collection, the dray when those bales were being collected and, even better, lying on top of a 5 deep stack of bales on top of the dray as it slowly swayed it's way back to the barn to be unloaded and the bales stored for winter fodder!

I remember hide and seek in that same hay barn, where it was possible to wriggle down the crack where four bales met, pull over a bit of loose straw and stay hidden almost indefinitely; except for the time my cousin's foot came down that same crack right on top of my head! :)

Then there was the rhythmic suction sound of the milking machines, attached to udders belonging to cows standing in patient lines, pulling on feed from the troughs and shuffling occasionally. I even remember making myself useful and hosing out after milking was done.

And one of my proudest memories has to be the day my cousin and I fetched the cows in down the lane. Even in those days of fewer cars, we had built up quite a tail of vehicles by the time we turned into the field! The shared power of a pair of 10 year olds ambling long behind a meandering mass of warm, steamy, black and white bodies, followed by a crawl of helpless drivers. HA!


  1. I like the farmyard smells - I suppose that, for me too, is a childhood reminder.

  2. farming was never that entertaining Art