Columnist

Laura Zoeller is a farm wife and mother who has been blessed with a wonderful – and funny - life.

We have a few new additions on the Zoeller Farm. A half dozen new additions, to be precise. A friend I made at my last job was downsizing her own farm and asked if my husband and I might consider incorporating her six cows into our herd. After serious consideration of whether our pasture and hay supplies could support six more mouths, we agreed.

The morning we planned to pick them up, we borrowed a stock trailer. Ours is only large enough for the two or three animals we generally move at a time, and the borrowed one is double the size of ours. We hooked up to it and headed to my friend’s farm.

When we arrived, we quickly discovered the cows we agreed to adopt were enormous. Regardless of having our trailer or our friend’s larger one, we immediately knew these six cows would not be coming home in one trip. In fact, between their size and incredible level of tameness, we knew the cows would be going nowhere unless they wanted to go.

They were so tame they enjoyed us pushing and patting them instead of moving forward to avoid the contact.

These cows, admittedly, were my friend’s pets. They each seem to know their names, can be fed from your hand, and at least one likes to be ridden while he wears costumes.

Oh, did you need to read that last sentence a second time? Take your time. Let it wash over you. Ready for me to continue?

OK, great.

The biggest of the six is a steer named Roger, and he loves to wear costumes. Costumes that were handmade by my friend for him and his “Brother from Another Udder,” Stanley.

There are outfits for every holiday.

My favorite is the tailcoat, powdered wig and general’s hat that completes his attire for President’s Day. A second favorite is his pilgrim costume, finished off with a capotain made from a lampshade.

I’m told Stanley and Roger used to spar somewhat over who got to wear the hats that were carried out to the pasture. Sadly, Stanley died last winter, but Roger remains content with all the attention.

He has been costumed more than once in the fortnight he’s been here, and he’s been ridden at least twice. He has also laid down and put his head in my husband’s lap.

At any rate, the 2,700-pound behemoth could not be compelled to go where he had no desire, so we largely just waited for him to become curious enough about the trailer to climb inside. My friend helped him get curious by climbing into the trailer in front of him with the curry comb she frequently used to brush him. Eventually, he lumbered up inside and we shut the trailer door behind him.

Two additional trips were required to transport his fellow citizens home as well. We are definitely excited and happy to have added his extra-large personality – and that of his friends – to our herd.

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