When Stella came to me that morning and greeted me happily as always, I already noticed her restlessness, but also the anticipation of what was to come. It was her first child.
„I’m sure you’ll do well,“ I whispered in her ear.
After that she withdrew. In a secluded place, she gave birth to her child and licked it clean, stimulating circulation and breathing. Even though it was her first child, she knew what she had to do – without any advisers or helpers. A deep mooing could be heard. This is how her son got to know the sound of his mother. Otherwise she went to graze normally with her herd during this first week. But she always returned to her son, who was still gaining strength. After this week it was time. She proudly presented it to her flock and to me.
„A beautiful boy,“ I whispered to her.
The little one, whom we called Alfi, spent the next few weeks in the playgroup with the other children, always under the strict eye of an experienced kindergarten teacher. But Stella continued to lick the little one and provided him with her milk. Little Alfi grew bigger and stronger, ate more and more grass, but until he was eleven months old, he would go to his mother, who grazed near him, to drink. And even when he was no longer nursed, the bond remained.
„You know,“ I said quietly to Stella, as I once again sat with her in the grass and thoughtfully chewed her cud, „You are a wonderful mother for little Alfi. And you’re lucky, even if you don’t know anything about it. Most cows fare quite differently. They are not wooed and fertilized by the bull, but by a doctor, artificially. When they give birth to their child, it is immediately snatched away from them. They don’t even get a day together. Perhaps this is to prevent a bond from being formed in the first place, but the mother is sad and is crying out for her child as her child is crying out for her. For days they call desperately to each other, but no one seems to hear. The milk that should belong to your child is pumped and given away. People drink cow’s milk. Of course, it would be possible to arrange. A little for the baby and the rest for the people. So, everyone would benefit, and the child could grow up happily ever after. But no, they want everything. And for what? So that there is even more milk that nobody actually buys anymore because it is already far too much. Mother and child have to suffer, and that for the rubbish.”
Stella looked at me with her soft brown eyes. As if she understood.
“We celebrate Mother’s Day,” I continued, “while using millions of mothers as breeding machines. If it weren’t for you and your herd, I think I would let myself be persuaded that there is no other way. But there is another way.”
With this in mind, happy Mother’s Day everyone.