The Love of a Mother Cow

Image Intro

This is a true story that took place in the arid desert region of Ching Hai Province in western China. The officials in this area impose a strict daily ration of three kilos of water for each person, and residents have to rely on long-distance transport of water by the locally stationed army unit. Under these circumstances, one can well imagine the tragic condition in which animals find themselves.

One day, an old cow broke away from her halter and got into the middle of the only road in the desert, on which the water trucks had to pass. As the minutes ticked by, and just as the local people were beginning to wonder what had happened to the old cow, a water truck arrived. The cow suddenly charged in front of the truck, forcing it to a stop. Then the cow stared quietly at the truck while the driver tried futilely to chase her away. This went on for quite a while.

The soldiers transporting the water had encountered this kind of situation before, but never to the extent of holding up traffic. It was different this time. Drivers caught in the traffic jam cursed and some impatient ones tried to scare the stubborn old cow away with fire, but she remained undaunted. Next the cow's owner arrived and whipped the poor, thin cow, tearing her skin open. But the whining animal refused to get out of the way.

The heartrending whines of the old cow sounded so tragic that the soldiers and some of the drivers were moved to tears. At last a soldier said, "Let me break the rule for once! I'm ready to accept a penalty for this." He took half a basin of water from the truck (one and a half kilos), and placed it in front of the cow, but to everyone's surprise, the cow did not touch the water.

Then the cow looked toward the setting sun and mooed. In a short while, a little calf came running from behind a pile of sand. The wounded old cow looked lovingly at the calf until he had finished drinking the water. With tears in their eyes, the mother cow and her calf licked each other's eyes, silently expressing their love for each other. Then, before anyone had to drive them away, they left on their own.