A light-hearted view of life from the calf’s viewpoint – but with a serious animal welfare message.
"How was your trip home from the sale?"
"Well, I first got hauled out of the pen by the legs, with my head trailing along the ground, and then got thrown into a trailer onto hard boards. They were so slippery that I did the splits about four times before I eventually got onto my feet.
“Then when he took off like a bat out of hell, I hit the back of the pen with such force that the gate nearly flew open! When he hit the brakes to avoid the sale-yard dog, I did a slide and hit the front of the pen. This went on till we got on to the "gentle Annie" up to the farm when I started to hit the sides of the trailer as well on each bend. I heard him say he'd better get stronger sides on the trailer sometime! I think he was fancying himself in the world safari rally!
"It wouldn't have been so bad if there'd been a few other calves in the trailer with me to act as cushions, or he'd had the sense to put a couple of bales of hay in to fill some space and soften the blows. And if there'd been some hay or shavings on the floor I could have had half a chance of getting a grip and not hit the deck so often.
"And I suppose expecting a decent cover around the front and sides of the trailer to stop the wind whistling past as he drove at 100km/hr was be too much to expect. He doesn't seem to have noticed that the half-a sack he tied on last year is now reduced to just a few threads and wouldn't stop anything!
"Fine for him sitting on a nice soft seat in the warm and dry, listening to Kiri in his new tape deck. If Kiri had been in the back with me she would have had no trouble hitting those high notes as the trailer did a slide on the metal!
"I'll tell you what though, some of the calves at the sale were saying that when the female partner drives, you'll get a good ride home. Apparently, she considers you like she would the kids in the back, and keeps stopping to check how you're doing!