When I was little, I don’t remember exactly how old, my grandfather bought me a Jersey calf for my birthday. I remember we were at a cow auction and he told me to pick out a calf. I think he was hoping I’d pick a Holstein (the breed that my family’s farm raises), but I thought Jerseys were cuter. I named her Kim, after my baby sitter.
I don’t really know what happened to Kim…I think she grew up and didn’t produce enough milk and so was sold for beef. Sounds sad, but when I was little I pretty much accepted this as the way things work on a dairy farm. Because she was technically mine, I got the money from her sale and went with my grandfather to buy another jersey calf. This one I named Ariel (after The Little Mermaid, duh!).
I kept Ariel (and maybe Kim too, I don’t remember) in my garage and bottle fed her morning and night. When she got older she was moved over to the calf barn. That summer, I showed her in the Washington County Field Days and got Reserve Champion. I’m not quite sure how because neither my parents nor I really knew what we were doing, and even forgot the requisite white clothes. Ariel must have had good conformation and it didn’t so much matter that a clueless six year old was leading her around the ring. After that, I figured I’d get out while the going was good, and never showed again.
Ariel then moved into the big barn with the rest of the herd. She even had a calf (it was a bull, which means it was automatically shipped off on the beef truck…again, this didn’t cause me grief as a child). However, she got chronic mastitis and she too took a trip down the road.
The point of all this? I haven’t though of Kim or Ariel for YEARS. However, the other night I had a dream that I was an international wine smuggler that brought liters and liters of wine into the U.S.. It was quite the lucrative trade, apparently. I had millions of dollars (in pesos chilenos) on my person and was for some reason obsessed with counting it. I stored the wine that I smuggled in my garage. The same garage where I bottle fed Ariel. And there she was in my dream, happily munching on some hay in the corner, surrounded by cases of wine.
I’m not really into interpreting my dreams, mostly because I have REALLY strange, vivid dreams all the time, so probably the interpretation would be something like: Abby, you’re a crazy person. But I do wonder what makes our sub-conscious remember things like this, memories from so many years ago, and mix them with our current reality (not that I’m a wine smuggler, but you get the picture).