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To A Weanling Calf

The black weanling white face calf looks glum
He has lately lost his mum
The farmer sold her at the mart
And left him with a heavy heart.

His mother a blue friesian cow
She is surely dead by now
We the human kind will eat
From a tin his mother's meat.

For the creature I feel sad
He is taking it so bad
He miss a kind and loving mother
And the warm milk from her udder.

Weanling there's no need to low
Your poor mother had to go
Your mother had been getting old
And that's the reason she was sold.

It doesn't matter anyway
With your dam you could not stay
This is the Autumn of the year
And therefore weaning time is here.

Son of a red white face sire
Your mother calved you in the byre
I remember the day you were born
'Twas on a wild and wet March morn.

I watched as you drew your first breath
Your hair was slimy and wet
And then I heard your first weak cry
As your mother licked you dry.

You seemed like a drunken lout
As you staggered all about
And your excited mum was bawling
As you were rising and falling.

Then you struggled to the udder
Of a very happy mother
And enjoyed the first feastings
Of your mother's rich fresh beestings

In the sunny Summer time
When the days were long and fine
On mother's milk you were flourishing
It was sweet tasting and nourishing.

But the good times do not last
And the Summer now is past
Without your mother you must do
You will forget her in a week or two.

You've got the predominant friesian colour black
On your legs and on your back
And as for the big white face
That belong to hereford race.

Unlike us the human kind
There's little knowledge in your mind
You don't realize there is an end
But there is my weanling friend.

Death to you will also call
Someday in a butcher stall
They will shoot you through the head
And 'alas' you will be dead.

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Langston Hughes


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