The other day, my nephew from the countryside wrote to me, saying that the old cow in the family had died. It died on the first anniversary of his grandfather's death.
The old cow, accompanied by his father for more than 20 years, is the year of the land to the family, the family share of the old old yellow cow gave birth to the cubs.
The old yellow cow grew tall, fat extremely strong, and tame, very humane. As long as it is led to the ground, the plow and harrow a driving, it will consciously and unhurriedly towards the front. The company is not lazy when it comes to working, it turns according to the will of the people, and never stops without being told to stop; its mouth is not greedy, it does not wear a mouth cage, and it does not eat the crops by the roadside fields. When the field is plowed, my father whisks it to the hill behind the house, and it eats the grass it is supposed to, never causing any trouble. When the belly is rounded, it will go home by itself, saving the father from looking all over the mountain.
My father was very fond of it when he was alive. Although the plowing is always holding the whip, but never smack it, at most habitually yell a few. At the end of the day, my father washed the mud off its belly every time, and then combed it with a grate to comb away the caterpillars and lice on its body, often keeping the old yellow cow greasy and smooth.
Later, my father slowly aged, we no longer want the old man to work in the field. But my father said, the work in the field can be left alone, but put the old cattle or I go. He was afraid that my brother and nephew were not responsible for herding the cattle, and took them out to make a turn and went home.
In the spring plowing season, my brother took the old cattle to plow the fields, my father was afraid that my brother was impatient and used the whip to whip the old cattle, so he squatted on the ridge, smoking an old cigarette, blinking his eyes and watching my brother plow, supervising my brother's rude behavior towards the old cattle.
After the winter, the cattle pen house should be clamped with straw to keep out the cold. He was afraid that his brother was too thin to clip, so he took matters into his own hands, bowing his jagged body early in the morning, the dry straw prepared in autumn, woven into a neat and thick straw mat, and then hung on each other layer by layer around the cattle pen house. In this way, the cold wind can not blow into, warm, the old cattle can be safe over winter.
In the past few years, the village people are interested in selling their cattle and using the tractor to plow the fields. There is only one reason: it can save the effort of herding cattle. My brother also wanted to sell, did not discuss with my father, took the old cattle alone to the market to sell. Father got the letter, on crutches, panting and ran to the market to find the brother. Father said: "This cow is mine. As long as I do not close my eyes, you do not want to sell it." There was no room for negotiation in his words. He took away the rope, led the cow and went home unhappily.
When he arrived home, my father was still in a calm mood, squatting at the foot of the eaves, smoking a cigarette while pinching the old hemp bamboo pipe, and still saying: "Son, the cow is the treasure of our farmers. This is what Chairman Mao said. Think about it: the tractor plowed fields are not cattle plowed fields with grain? Tractor high and low places to go? Tractors can also just eat grass to plow the field? Tractors can also shit as fertilizer? Huh! You want to sell it, unless I die."
From then on, my father had more respect and affection for the old bull. Whenever people came to my home, I always asked about my father's situation. They would always tell me that my father just couldn't put the old cow aside. Now the small mound behind the house and the small hillock are planted with citrus trees, and there is no more place for the old cow. My father, who is more than 80 years old, would take the old cow through the dense citrus forest to feed the cows on the barren hill two miles away from home, no matter it was a hot summer day or a windy winter day. The old cows were enjoying the food, and my father was smoking by the side of the cows, pinching the old hemp bamboo root pipe. No matter the sun, no matter the cold wind, as long as the old cattle stomach eat round, my father is happy. My brother advised my father not to whisk the cattle to the barren mountain to feed them on a cold day, but to feed some hay at home. Father was very unhappy to hear that, said: "You people just eat dry food okay? Cows and people alike, to eat something fresh, only then will have fat."
Last October, my father was finally bedridden due to "cerebral hemorrhage". But during his illness, he kept telling his brother to take the cows to the barren hill behind the house and feed them some grass, and to make sure the cattle fence was well clamped in winter. A month later, my father was dying, and on his deathbed, he solemnly explained two things to his brother: First, he wanted his nephew to have a family; second, don't sell the old cattle.
Father passed away. The day of the funeral, when the father's casket slowly from the side of the cattle house away, the old cow suddenly to the father's casket long moo a few, eyes also flowing beans of tears.