From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

March 17

Once my husband and I started living on a ranch, I began to appreciate our Hereford cows on a deeper level. I began to recognize them by their different markings, personalities and habits and even gave them names.

I was puzzled the first few times I saw a single cow surrounded by several calves, until I learned that herds establish unique baby-sitting co-ops. One day I was astounded to see that Red Man, our huge 2,500-pound bull, had been persuaded to baby-sit.

One night, we woke up to the terrifying sound of coyotes on the hunt. That morning we found one dead calf, which we covered until we could bury it. I watched as the mother nudged her baby and stood bawling. Soon 11 other cows formed a circle around them and began to bawl with the mother. The cows stayed in that circle of love for over an hour until finally the mother backed away and walked to a far corner of the pasture.

As I watched them, I, too, became a member of their circle. I stood rapt and motionless, feeling the depth of their compassion in my own heart, and filled with awe and admiration for these animals.

Maria Sears

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