Blossom and Meby Kaci Mallat, Boscobel, WIIt's hard to believe it's the same girl in both of these pictures, let alone the same Holstein cow. I, Kaci Mallat, am pictured on the left along with Mallatline Winken Blossom six years ago, when all the fun began.On March 1, 1993, Blossom was born. Knowing Blossom's potential, my dad transferred ownership to my name two months later. Now, I realize it was the greatest gift anyone has ever given me.Our first show season was a success. (The picture on the left was taken at the Muscoda Harvest Festival, after winning Junior Champion.) Together, we won all four showmanships we entered.In 1994, Blossom and I went through a slump. Not everything went badly, but she was going through her "ugly" stage, which I knew would pass. She freshened out as a two-year-old too late for the qualifying show for the state fair. My family decided to keep her as a surprise entry for the county fair. There, Blossom received Honorable Mention Senior Champion, and we won our showmanship, which proved we hadn't lost our touch. 1996 was our year to shine. Blossom was a Junior 3-year-old and it was her first year at the Wisconsin State Fair. Placing second in the state is an incredible achievement, but the feeling I got when I heard Blossom's name over the loudspeaker was much more meaningful.After doing so well in 1996, I expected the same thing to happen the next year. Being selfish, I rushed Blossom into shows too soon after she calved. Learning I had to take the good with the bad, I took full responsibility. We didn't go home empty-handed, though. We won Supreme Champion at the Boscobel Farmer's Day and Muscoda Harvest Festival that year.Pictured below are Blossom with me now. She taught me a lot this summer. At the first show, I was asked before I went into the ring if we were going to win. I replied that we had already proven ourselves and we were just going to have fun. It was then that I realized it really didn't matter where we placed as long as we were together. Minutes later, I walked out of the ring with a trophy awarded for being the first junior in the class. The next day, we won Reserve Grand Champion of the County Black and White Show and the privilege of attending the state fair for the third time. I guess it was Blossom's way of telling me that we were having fun.At the state fair, she did it again. We placed third in the Dry Cow Class and we were chosen for showmanship. Ever since I started showing, my goal has been to receive a blue ribbon in showmanship at the state level. It's harder than it sounds. The highlight of my show career was when the judge pulled us in and I finally accomplished this goal.For many reasons, Grant County Fair was probably our last show together. I wanted to go out with a bang, but after we were placed second to last, I decided we were going to go out with pride instead. So, with tears in my eyes, I led Blossom out of the ring with both our heads held as high as they could go.I know Blossom and I will be back (all I have to do is fast-talk my dad). But, just in case, I want Blossom to know that she is my angel sent from heaven. c
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.