Yesterday I was privileged to witness an amusing and enlightening life lesson. I’m not sure if you’re aware of it, but when there are several young calves in a pasture you’ll often see them in a group and if you watch carefully you’ll notice one cow supervising them while their mothers graze. I had an opportunity to see a “babysitter” cow in action yesterday.
The three little calves born this month were near the driveway when I came home, so I stopped to take their picture. Two of them were butting heads and generally being rambunctious while the third stood a little way off from them. There was a cow grazing several feet away and the rest of the herd was on the other side of the pasture.
The calves butted heads a few more times and then the cow quickly ran over to separate them. She made a strange grunting sound and the two youngsters backed off. She went back to grazing, but stayed close. Of course the unruly calves resumed their sparing and she separated them again. One more round, and then they decided to behave.
Ironic to see the same scenario in the pasture that I see in kindergarten each day. Students misbehave, teachers tell them to stop, students continue the behavior, teachers tell them to stop. And I know that most of them have the same problems at home.
If you look closely at the photos you’ll also see that the third calf barely moved during the whole episode. There are always a few children who behave without direct supervision or intervention, despite what others do.