Kindness Always Wins

The kids have been working with their bottle calves. each child has a calf they are going to show in 4H. Each child is supposed to be training their calf to catch, wear a halter, and lead.

My daughter has a big black steer who is quiet and friendly and she is doing a great job training him.

My son has a fiery little red steer who isn’t thrilled to be caught, doesn’t want scratches, and doesn’t lead.

He was working with his steer the other day. I had caught and haltered the steer. His job was to get the calf to follow on the lead. The calf said no. He didn’t want to. That was it.

My son was getting a bit frustrated. I was trying to take turns working with each of them and pay attention to a cow who really wanted petted and goats. It must not have been going well when I wasn’t looking. From across the pen I heard his voice. “Kindness always wins, right mom”?

He had gotten frustrated and was ready to fight and pull. Then he stopped and thought about it.

Instead of fighting he stood quietly with the calf and petted. He scratched the calf’s itchy spots and they spent undemanding time together. Then pulled the halter and let the calf go. I’ve never been so proud of the boy. He got lots of hugs too. We talked about how that time spent together doing nothing but enjoying had put him so much farther ahead than dragging the calf around ever would have. How, yes, kindness will win and is always the best way to work with our animals.


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