Junior champion of the 2023 NJAA Creative Writing Contest.
It was a crisp, cool, winter afternoon. My nose was already runny, and the slight breeze made me sniffle. But I did not even notice, because something spectacular was about to happen. As I walked through the cattle pasture at Birge Farms, I looked for the young, black Angus heifer I had been hearing so much about.
Just then I heard Mrs. Rhonda Birge say, “There’s your heifer!”
I will never forget those words as I looked and saw the cleanly made, elegant heifer. After weeks of discussion and hours of evaluation, I knew that was my new show calf!
The hills at Birge Farms were dotted with colorful, fluffy calves, but my eyes stayed on the solid black Angus. My family and I studied the small heifer as she ran playfully with the other calves. She seemed intrigued by me and my little brother, but she would not let me get too close yet. As my brother ran toward her, she pranced to her mother’s side. My mother commented that the little heifer was as graceful as a ballerina. Although she was young and had not even been weaned, I could already tell she would have a good disposition for a show calf.
The heifer’s tag said Erica 221, but right away, I knew I would call her “Molly.” There were already so many Angus Ericas, and this heifer was special. She deserved a special name! Molly was only a few months old, but I could see her potential. She would be the start of my purebred Angus herd. In addition to her elegant neck and walk, she had a feminine head and the potential for a deep, sweeping belly. I knew she would make a fine momma cow one day, and I could not wait to get her home.
A few weeks later, my dad hooked up the trailer, and we went to pick up Molly. When we pulled up, I saw Molly in the barn. She was wearing a new rope halter, and Mrs. Rhonda had her tied up. I walked into the barn and brushed her out with a scotch comb. Then, my dad and I loaded her into the trailer and hauled her to her new home.
Arriving at our barn I led her from the trailer into her own stall. She seemed happy and started eating as soon as I fed her. Then, we let her out into a small ring so she could decompress and calm down. Eventually, we turned her out into a larger pasture run so she could roam free at night. She now enjoys the cool grass and fresh evening air, but she eagerly returns to the barn in the mornings when she sees me coming to feed. She is quickly growing and changing, but I will always remember the sweet, black Angus heifer I met on that crisp winter morning.