Seven the Steer
I knew coming here to this farm that it is not a good idea to get attached to any one calf or steer. As it goes, they do leave this farm after a period of time. That is the reality. However I have come to respect and admire them as a whole, and appreciate the long history that they share with us humans as agriculture evolves over time, especially here in Wisconsin. And from an artist’s perspective, I do enjoy studying their structure and form as they move about the yard. And believe it or not, they do each have their personalities. Some are rambunctious, and some are aloof. And then there is Seven. I’ve written about him before. You can find the Seven recap here. If you don’t want to bother with the recap, then all you need to know is this;
Back in April 2011 he arrived as a small spindly-legged red calf with the number Seven emblazoned on his forehead. He was just as new to the farm as I was, two newbies trying to get solid footing in a new environment. Amidst all the black/white and red Holsteins, Seven was always recognizable to me. So I kept my eye on him as he grew up and graduated from one class to another knowing full well that I may regret getting a little attached to him. But I let myself get attached anyway. Isn’t that what happens? You let a little love in, but along with that comes the risk of a little hurt. But the pleasure outweighs the pain in an ideal situation. I would guess that any parent will tell you that and many a pet owner will agree. Seven is only a steer, he is not a child or a pet. But I watched him, fed him greens, and I do believe he recognized me (that could be my imagination of course). And so I grew accustomed to looking out over the yard and seeing that blaze of a 7 beaming out at me from the gate.
And so with a touch of sadness, I watched today as they singled out Seven and a group of other steer to be sold. I knew that this day would come. And I knew I would have a bit of a heavy heart. But I had to be there to see Seven before he left, and despite all the organized chaos, he actually came up to where I stood by the fence. And we just looked at each other.
And then I had to step back and away, and let him go. There will be no other Seven like him. I will miss seeking him out, I’ll miss seeing him show up at the gate and I’ll miss that blaze of 7. But I am glad that he was here for as long as he was. Thank you for being here Seven.