Amber the Cow

A cheeky friend once told me, “For someone who’s scared of cows, you sure post a lot of cow pictures to Instagram.” And she was right – but she was wrong! I didn’t post a lot of cow pictures – I just posted a lot of pictures of Amber. She was the only cow I wasn’t scared of! She was a very special cow. Arriving two months after Cocoa, not only did I bottle raise her, but she was in my heart (and our family) for a very long time. Twenty-three years, actually. In all those years, she was just a roving glance away – and a frequent visitor at the house. (She was older than my boys!)

Amber was also the cow who inspired Warren Crossett’s illustrations in ‘This is the Mud!’, my first picture book. I decided to give Amber her own ‘paddock’ on my blog – for all those kids who don’t get to see her pictures at author talks.

10 years of reading with Amber. Still her favourite book! Pics taken in March 2009 and again in July 2019.

Such a beautiful girl! (Pictures taken in January 2019)

Sadly, we lost our beautiful Amber-girl at the close of December 2019 and my heart will forever miss her. She was our gentle giant, loved by many! But mostly, she was very much loved by us.

My Amber

Imprinting your shape,
feel
and texture
into the palm of my heart;
muscle,
bone
knobby horns,
knees,
      rump,
           nose;
forehead whirl,
and floppy dewlap.

Hands smooth across
sleek red hide,
eyes clouded by tears.

I inhale.

Hold time.

Breathe in the scent of you.

Each pat

   a memory,
   a caress,
   a pause;


‘I love you.’
‘Thank-you.’
‘Goodbye.’

‘My beautiful girl.’

'I love you.'

© Kathryn Apel December 2019