When you give a boy a calf, you teach him responsibility. He is responsible to help in the daily care of his calf. She must be fed, watered, comfortable and content. It is his job as her owner to give her all her little cow heart desires. If something goes wrong, the weight of the problem can fall on his little shoulders.
When you give a boy a calf, you teach him work ethic. The calf doesn’t care if it’s raining, cold, or if he’s hungry. All she knows being a cow, is that he is her care taker. He feeds her twice a day, seven days a week. He gives her clean water and dry bedding. Christmas presents and Easter baskets may have to be put on hold so he can tend to his little lady. Giving him a calf teaches him that he must work hard and put the needs of others above himself.
When you give a boy a calf, you teach him discipline. He must work with her diligently so they preform as a team. She must be led even if he’s tired. She needs bathed when she’s dirty and she needs to be groomed to make her hair stay just so. Practice makes perfect and the show ring is no different.
When you give a boy a calf, you teach him compassion. He must learn to care for another living being. You attract more flies with sugar than with salt. Cows work the same way. A gentle, loving touch can be much more convincing than a harsh hand.
When you give a boy a calf, you teach him joy. Much happiness can come from a bovine best friend. Growing and learning together is something they will excel at. The boy has to learn what makes his calf happy. What does she like, what irritates her. The moment everything comes together both are happy. The joy brought about by a calf is not something that to many other things can surpass.
When you give a boy a calf, you teach him skills for the future. When he talks endlessly of joining an industry that can be challenging, his calf teaches him that there are rewards at the end of a long and hard day. There will be trials and there will be triumphs. There will be happy and sad days. But in the end he is happy because he is just a boy with his calf.