outwait outrun outwit


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At the farm, I notice steam rising from a week-old calf's piss-stream, it's that cold. My husband says all but two cows are pregnant. Suckler cows spend their whole lives eating and calving and loving their young until they are led away to the cattle mart. They blithely live the life of the condemned, and when I visit them, I regard them with a bystander's pity, thinking of the last lines of Seamus Heaney's poem "Cow in Calf": "Her cud and her milk, her heats and her calves / keep coming and going." The cyclical, cruel necessity of farming life.


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