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C-Clamping Kickers

Sadly, I catch myself stereotyping people like my mom did these cows. I try not to.

I sat on the damp concrete steps at the end of the milking pit. I listened to the pneumatic throbbing of the milking machines pulling squirts of white liquid from the black and white cows. The milk filled eight glass bubbles in the pit. There were four cows in stalls on each side, munching contentedly on dusty ground grain. Thick green soupy manure covered the cement walkway. My mom reached for the udder of a white cow. She kicked sideways and my mom was thrown across the pit. I stood up. My mom slid down the pit wall. I took a few steps toward her, but she was already up again. She hobbled the cow that already had a C-clamp hooked over her back and under her flank.

"The C-Clamp stops the cow from being able to send a kick that would kill me, but doesn't stop her from knocking me down." mom said.

She gently continued to wash the white cow's udders and put the four silver milking tubes on her. The machine began making it's rhythmic chuck, chuck, chuck sound.

She always kicked. Most of the other cows were gentle. This white cow had three white heifers that all kicked. My mom automatically put C-clamps on all the the white cows, out of habit.

White cows kick.

She went to work for another dairy farmer for awhile.

"Chuck, chuck, chuck," went the machine.

My mom switched a valve that sucked the milk from a bulb, up through glass pipes into a stainless steel bulk tank in another room.

The dairy farmer came in to check on her.

She let the just milked cows out, and opened the door for the next bunch of cows to come in. She automatically put a C-clamp on the white cow. She washed udders, and put the stainless steel suction cups over the udders.

"Eloise. Why did you put a C-clamp on Cloud? She's the only cow in the barn that doesn't kick?" said the dairy farmer.

My mom stopped and thought for a moment.

"Habit." said my mom.

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