Of all the things gardeners don’t want to hear, ‘there’s a cow in the garden’ comes pretty close to the top of the list – perhaps second only to ‘there are cows in the garden’. Today’s visitor was just a lone beast, and fortunately, once it had been ushered away from the veg patch, quite happy to browse on the long grass near the compost tumbler, while Moo-I-5 stared at it over the fence, making helpful suggestions.
The question was where it had come from – unlike our usual coo neighbours it clearly wasn’t a dairy cow, being a rather fetching shade of dark brown (I would post pictures but these things inevitably happen when your camera is out of battery …). The likeliest source was the farm down the road, but we didn’t have their phone number so I hopped on the Brompton to rouse our neighbour to see if she was missing any cows, because obviously the person you need in a misplaced coo crisis is an octogenarian who stands about 4 foot 10 in her sparkly wellies.
She didn’t think she was one of theirs but came up the road to inspect our new resident anyway, and agreed that the best place for it was their field rather than the suspiciously lush grass around our septic tank. It took a bit of ushering from the three of us but the cow finally, reluctantly, relinquished the prime grazing of our lawn for the rather less luxuriant grass next door and we got the gate secured.
‘Do you get to keep it if nobody claims it in a couple of weeks?’ I asked.
‘It’s the owner to blame if it gets out,’ she pointed out with a twinkle in her eye. ‘Might fetch a nice price at the market …’
And then she headed back to the house to, I’m sure, make strenuous attempts to find out where it had come from and return it safely home.