Mabel was smart enough to take life easy

 She was plain, with a long narrow face and one horn which was lumpy and crumpy, the other not there at all.

 

Our cow Mabel was also a slowcoach, a real dawdler. On the way to the milking shed in the morning or the night paddock after the evening milking, guess who was always way behind. Yet she had one good point, for her nature was delightful. She was gentle, likeable and winsome.

 

The creek was deep enough for a boy to get wet to his waist, but Lomond would jump aboard and Mabel would wade peacefully across, Lomond high and dry on her back. 

 

One afternoon, when Mabel was struggling behind the other cows on their way to milking, Lomond saw an old car broken down on the roadside. In it was a family and the father asked him where they could buy milk for the baby. "Have you a jug or billy?"  Lomond asked. He squatted down beside Mabel and soon the billy was overflowing with frothy, delicious fresh milk. "Oh, thank you," called the mother. "Now the other kids can have bread and milk as well." Mabel, still unconcerned, continued on her way up the road.

 

There was one thing about this cow which was a complete puzzle. Whenever the cows had spent the day grazing in a paddock named 'The fig'  because of the fig trees which grew there, she always returned completely dry, not a drop of milk in her udder. Lomond wondered why and decided to watch and see. 

 

As he leaned against a fig tree, the herd began to feed on the luscious pasture. Then they began to lie down to chew their cud and Mabel also lay down. Across the paddock from a neighbour's place came a pig. It hurried past all the other cows until it came to Mabel, whereupon it lay down beside her and began to suckle. Mabel continued chewing her cud, taking no notice of the pig. 

 

"So that's what happens to Mabel's milk," murmured Lommond as he bit into another fig.

 

 

 

True story by Joan Leaf of New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

From the SMARTER than JACK team

1. We hope you have enjoyed reading this story from our book SMARTER than JACK (first New Zealand edition)

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Author: 
Joan M Leaf
True Story?: 
yes