about swiss milk chocolate calves

one of the most beautiful things in chinley would be little new lives around the field- whether it be a new chick, lamb, foal or a calf.  the best calves are definitely the little wee brown ones, with white face and white socks.  though i have missed the arrival of the lambs this year (they do come around the easter),  i am lucky enough to see late calves, which are still very wee, lithe and cute.

unlike the grown cows, who are heavy and calm, if set in their ways, the brown calves- i often refer them as swiss milk chocolate calves, are found in surprising enterprises- exploring, playing, prancing and such.  and the way they move around the field is light on feet, tails in wind, eyes lit up with such joy that one cannot help but to smile, of course, with a small pain on the heart- ouch!

i often ask minnow to stop the car, just so that we can take a look at the chocolate calves.  they must know how handsome they are, as they would stop and calmly charm the socks off us.  the only thing to remember is that there'll be concerned big moms around near by.  even in the big field, one can usually tell who is paired with who- especially when one is lovingly nuzzled by another, licked on the face, etc. unlike lambs- one pair of lambs to a mom, it's one calf to one mom and they do show off their love to anyone who dares to look to the field.

one late evening the other day, with scent of honeysuckle in the air, minnow and i were sitting in the garden, when sudden bellowing of the cow broke the warm silence.  questioning then some more questioning, it echoed through the evening and we wondered what it could be? could it be that a little calf went missing and got separated? did mom woke up in the middle of the night to look for the delinquent? we so hoped that wasnt the case, and if so, the naughty calf to return to mom soon as it would.  the bellowing eventually stopped and it was forgotten into the night- sleep, rest and cuddles.

this morning, i woke with tears.  with chest heaving with pain that i did not know that i carried.

i was dreaming.  there was massive drought and there was no more grass or hays for the cows to eat. they were drying up and the calves were going hungry and weak.  minnow and i were part of the farm hands, helping guide animals to the new pasture, hoping that brown chocolate calves can be full and happy again.  then it struck- a cow mom without a calf. she frantically looked around, we all looked around, but the calf couldnt be found. the mom started to bellow, from the bottom of her heart, with big tear drops, size of my fist, dropping to the ground, creating a flood.  while we stood there with ankle deep water, which continued to grow to swallow us, the cow mom cried. we somehow knew that calf was no more.

and it hurt so deeply that it woke me from my own sleep.

face full of snots and tears, i let my mental taps open.  it's another full moon recently and it's gabe's birth month.  i am back in canada just in time for gabe's bday mass at the end of august. i can sense my family's silent sadness with that one empty spot, though we try to cover it gently with the daily bustle, so real that it comes through the phone lines and internet conversations.  for mom, gabe was the most prized brown chocolate calf. he was beautiful in her eyes, always full of life and love. affectionate, unlike me.  friendly and cheeky, while i tried to stand tall and proud.  he never had any qualms about hugging her and 'bothering' her, as he freely loved her (and annoyed and angered her to no end, like any other young'uns)

though we try to hold such thoughts dear to hour heart, as it makes us fragile and honest, too naked for the world to look into and evaluate, often, in the vulnerable hours of the early morning, the subconscious had to let it out, breaking the dam.  i missed my brother and i did not know how to even imagine how my parents and granny felt about loss of our own.  just like the bellowing cow in the middle of the night, i am certain my mother would bellow silently in her world, tears from the heart, hot and neverending.

into the midday, my head is still bit heavy, drunk in a bit of sorrow and my eyes are still puffy.  though it hurts the most to think of the childless cow's bellowing, echoing into endless night, breaking the peace and silence- a fractured suffering.

ah, how to console a cow for the loss of beautiful chocolate calf.
some images do break us, shatter our shells and send us into a deep reflection.we no longer have our youngest wee chocolate brown calf. oh how we miss him.


  1. milky chocolate calves innocently unaware of their power to movem tears. It's a very touching and poignant image.

  2. extra m got in there somehow. hmmm.