MJ–Ox

3 Feb

When I was looking for a home, I knew I wanted a place in the country with a pasture and a barn. I had fallen in love. MJ was an orphaned calf, half Gelbvieh, a quarter Semital, and a quarter Chianina. I gave him his first bottle, and even though he belonged to my brother-in-law, I took him home to my mother’s barn and raised him. Don’t get me wrong, he was not always a saint. He was horribly painful to feed because he would butt the bottle so hard. Finally, I started putting it against a fence post. He hit so hard he broke the bottle once. He also was known to make his teeth bleed. Despite his overly eager bottle butting, he was really a sweet baby.
I would go out for his bedtime bottle and watch the progression of the Hale-Bop comet as it traveled across the sky. According the the Chinese calendar, it was the year of the ox–1997. Somehow it was always so peaceful, feeding him under the dark sky. It all seemed to be perfect.
As he grew, the time for sale came closer and it almost made me sick to my stomach to think my baby was going to be sold for slaughter. It was horrible, and in a moment of insanity, I bought him at market value. A steer–I bought a steer. I had no place to keep him, which is why I wanted to buy a place in the country.
He will be thirteen years old in March, and I still have people asking me what I plan to do with him. To those people, I simply respond that his only purpose in this world is to love and be loved! I can’t imagine a better purpose, and I do love all nearly three thousand pounds of him.

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