Today I ended up with no milk.
Annabelle is a stepper and the Sanitation Soluble Rule was broken.
I start each milking session by giving Annabelle her grain. It takes her quite a while to eat roughly one gallon of Coarse 16 and shredded beet pulp. Midway through milking she is usually done, and she usually stands there chewing her cud and staring at the wall or out the window. Being milked seems to lull her into a quiet meditation, much as it lulls me into a quiet meditation.
On occasion a stray bit of grain will catch her eye. Invariably this stray bit of grain is well out of reach. So she steps. Knowing that there is a bucket under her bag means she really steps. Up comes that left foot, up enough to go over the bucket.
The Sanitation Soluble Rule requires milk to be dumped if anything soluble falls in. So out went today’s milk.
Huckleberry, Dizzy (yes, That Naughty Little Mini Horse likes warm cow milk, and eggs – who knew?) and the Chickens love this rule.
Solubles certainly include the clump of mud that invariably falls off Annabelle’s lifted left hoof. (The only time Annabelle’s feet have ever been clean were the days we were first learning to milk, several times she’d have her foot right in the bucket – egads! let’s not talk about this!)
Maybe one out of fifteen milkings fall under the Soluble Rule.
Shasta, my last cow, never stepped up for a bit of grain.
Knowing that there was a bucket under her bag meant she’d slide. Ever so slowly she’d slide that left foot forward, so slowly the milk bucket would slide without so much as the tiniest bit of sloshing action. She’d slide and lean, slide and lean until she could comfortably reach the bit of grain.
Her legs were considerably shorter so maybe she knew she couldn’t step over the bucket.
Every time Annabelle tries to step over my bucket I wonder – is the choice between stepping and sliding based on a physical trait? A personality trait? A combination?
Would another cow have another method?
Step? Slide? Ignore the grain? Jump? Leap? Do a lutz?
Do other cows move their right foot first not their left?
And then I always come back to the same questions. Do I step or slide through life?
Do I move towards my goals in ways that don’t slosh the milk?
or do I reach my goal knowing milk is there but not knowing or caring how to preserve it?
Is one way more desirable than the other?
Does it matter?
Probably none this matters but it is interesting isn’t it?
I think most of the time I am a slider. Trying to preserve the milk matters.
But…but when that bit of grain is very difficult to reach I leap with both feet. Spilling the bucket and the milk. And probably injuring myself to boot!