Oh...Betsy. How could I ever think of getting another cow after her? If she only knew how many times she limped through my dreams after they put her down...oh, why did you have to leave me, Betsy? Why?

From the first fateful moment her little head poked into the world, I knew she was special. Her little mouth bleated out a cry that would stop your heart it was so beautiful, and her little hoofs pawed through the air like she would never stand still

That cow ruled the barn from the start. No one could resist her calm, soothing gaze. No one wanted to. She could convince a wolf to drop the chicken held in its mouth from a mile away with one gaze, one flick of her majestic tail. I'll never forget the day she wrote me a poem in the sand for my 18th birthday "Roses are red, violets are blue, i may be a cow, but i do more than moo." Oh, Betsy. It had nothing to do with the occasion, in fact, it was completely innapropriate, but when she looked up at me with that calfish grin I felt like I was the only one that mattered in the world...

Then came the accident. It was a sunny morning. I remember the way the light stroked the fields while Betsy grazed, like she was already being called to heaven. No one had any idea what was about to happen. No one, that is, except Betsy.

She was the first to smell the smoke. With one trumpeting cry she grabbed the attention of everyone on the farm. Flicking her tail frantically, she gestured toward the farmhouse. The flames were already licking the side of the building by the time we noticed. The hay! Oh my god, I can still smell it! A batch had caught on fire and ignited the side of the house. We were all safe outside. Or so we thought. With a flash of terror I realized who was left inside, sleeping peacefully in his cradle on the top floor- Baby Brian! Something had to be done. We stood on the driveway, paralyzed with fear. Suddenly, a brown bolt of huffing, puffing 100% cow came charging from the field and throught the flaming doorway to the farmhouse. Betsy was on the move! We all held our breath in agonizing silence, until, finally, she emerged with the newborn Baby Brian in her mouth. No one could have been more proud of Betsy than I was when I saw her there, standing triumphantly in front of me.

It was a bittersweet moment, however, for we soon turned our attention to the charred flesh on Betsy's right leg. It was useless. From that day forth she limped around the barn instead of her old majestic strut. But she had acquired something new - a beautiful grace about her movement that spoke her story in one step. I swear, when that cow would walk it was like she was dancing.

Of course, as much as we wanted to keep her around, we had to put her down the next year. Money was tight, food was running low. We all felt bad but understood the circumstances. We didn't do it all at once, though, oh no, a cow like that you've got to eat it piece by blessed piece. But I tell you, as I felt her warm flesh travel down my esophagus, I knew that cow would be a part of me forever.

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