Time To Milk Cows This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Arriving home from school, I have plenty of farm work to look forward to. Every afternoon, I get off the bus at my cousin's house. When 4: 00 p.m. rolls around, my cousin, uncle and I jump into his truck and go to a nearby farm to milk cows. We help an 83-year-old man who had surgery. Brown Jersey heifers graze on the green grass in the vast pasture. They loudly moo to get into the barn for milking. I can smell the grassy hay coming from the hay mound. It smells like leaves in autumn. The droopy-faced cows wait patiently at the sliding barn door.

In the barn, the pigs oink for food and calves bawl for milk. While I am working, the fresh cow manure reeks. The gutters are usually full of last night's manure, so we have to clean them. It doesn't bother me because after I'm finished, it's clean and smells fresh again. Cleaning the gutters usually takes 20 minutes. After we're finished, my uncle lets the cows into the clean, nice-looking barn and puts them in their stanchions. My uncle feeds them the silage. I give them ground, brown oats. The cows stick out their black tongues and swipe it back and forth.

Now they're ready for milking. I use a warm, wet rag to wash their pink nipples, so they're sterile. The warm milk tastes creamy and sweet. After we finish milking the cows, we feed the warm, watered-down milk to the calves and pigs. The beautiful, brown calves suck the milk eagerly. The pigs, on the other hand, drink the milk sloppily. Then we feed all of the cows alfalfa hay and the calves grass hay. When we set a slice of hay down in front of the animals, they take a bite and shake their head to throw off excess hay, which flies around like a helicopter propeller.

By 5: 30 p.m. we have finished our chores and happily return to my uncle's house. My uncle, cousin and I go into the house after a hard day and eat a delicious home-cooked dinner. The tasty aroma from the kitchen makes my mouth water. I can't wait until tomorrow!


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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