A Farewell Tribute To Peanut
Two years ago this very month, it was with tremendous excitement that I looked in the field and saw a beautiful Miniature Jersey calf emerge from the brush along the edge of the field. I had been waiting all my life for this moment. I had dreamed of owning a Jersey since I was a child and had searched for them for quite a while before falling in love with the Old World Version of the Jersey. Fate was in my favor when through a series of events, I was actually able to purchase two Miniature Jerseys cows and a bull. When I bought them, the cows were short bred and I had to wait almost eight more months to get to this magic moment when my first little Jersey calf was born. I did not witness the birth as Momma had secretly given birth in the brush, but I will never forget that moment when I saw him emerge, already dried off. He was breath takingly beautiful.
Mike wanted to get Mayfield into the barn that day and walked out in the field and as she began to follow him, the calf followed her. Mike was eating some peanuts that he had in his pocket and he fed a few to Mayfield. His name came to me at that moment and I knew I would call the little calf "Peanut".
Peanut became "famous" when I submitted an article about my experience with miniature Jerseys to Countryside Magazine and the article was published along with some pictures of Peanut. In a small way, he became an overnight sensation when the magazine hit the stands. I received at least a hundred emails asking me about him and about Miniature Jerseys.
Peanut grew from a beautiful baby in to a handsome young bull. Never was he hard to handle and he always had a quiet, regal way about him. As I added standard size Jerseys to my breeding program, it only made sense that I would allow Peanut to be my herd sire for the new girls in my breeding program. He was always efficient at his job of herd sire and without fail bred every cow in an efficient manner and always remained a gentleman.
From Veterinarians to dairy farmers to farm visitors to those who have only seen his picture on the internet, Peanut received many compliments on his outstanding physical characteristics. What I always saw was my sweet little baby Jersey boy and what a fine young bull he turned out to be.
Last night, as if he knew something was different, he hesitated when I put out a little hay for him. He looked at me as if he knew there was going to be a change. I called him and he stepped by me and began nosing the hay but not eating it. I shut the gate on him and held him in the paddock to separate him from the cows. He played with his hay but didn't eat it. He gave a few loud sounds of disgust that I had penned him up, but never got seriously upset. Then he stood there calmly waiting while we waited for the transport company to call and say they were on their way.
The transport company was suppose to be at our house around 8 PM but the time came and went and they still were not there. About eight, it began to drizzle and we could see the rain coming in. Because it is difficult to maneuver a large trailer around our house, we had to put Peanut on our trailer and we were going to meet the transport company half-way down the drive way. We had the girls in the back pasture and Mike had removed part of the electric fence so that the transport truck could turn around in the field. With the inclement weather, we decided to go ahead and load Peanut on our trailer and wait for the transport company. I held the gate back to the trailer and Mike walked around and moved Peanut up to the trailer. Peanut had never been trailered before in his life. Peanut has never been off our farm since he was born. He stepped up onto the trailer as nice as can be and we shut the door.
I could hear him shifting back and forth in the trailer and calling out to the girls from time to time as we waited and waited for the transport company. Finally around 9 PM they called and by that time we were getting a real down pour. We suggested meeting them down the road in the grocery store parking lot because it was impossible for them to turn around in our field now due to the darkness and the mud.
As we stepped out of the truck to meet the driver the sky went from a steady down pour to absolutely just pouring down rain. The transport company's trailer has doors on the side and our trailer had doors on the back. So we backed our trailer right up to the other trailer and I stood outside in the pouring rain hanging on the side of the trailer and looking at my beautiful boy and talking softly to him. Thank goodness it was raining so hard and I was completely soaked because no one could tell that I was crying.
Peanut never got aggressive, even when Mike and the truck driver got in the trailer to push him through the door into the other trailer. However, Peanut was afraid to step across the thresh hold. I think he could see the glare of the lights and the water running between the two trailers and he was disoriented. The driver got a blanket and put it over the thresh hold so that Peanut could not see the water and the glare. The men got back in the front of our trailer to push him out and he hesitated and started to turn back. I gently put my hand through the side of the trailer and touched him softly on the his hip. "Go on Peanut", I said. He stepped across the thresh hold and into the trailer, headed to his new home.
Farewell, Peanut. You will always have a little piece of my heart. I know you will do well in your new position and make your human momma proud.
at May 15, 2009