Once there was a dairy farm
With fifty lovely cows.
Most of them were black and white
But some of them were brown.
One of the brown cows, Deidra,
Had something on her mind.
She wouldn’t tell her friends what it was,
And left them all behind.
On Mondays and on Tuesdays
She walked away from the rest.
She refused to tell them where she went,
Even if they guessed.
On Wednesday rabbits asked her
“Where do you go?”
“Are you leaving to never come back?”
And Deidra just said “no.”
On Thursday she passed a robin
Who called to her from behind,
“Where are you going Deidra?”
And Deidra said “Never you mind!”
The farmer saw she was missing
And wondered where she’d gone.
He didn’t know what her name was but
Knew he was short a brown one.
Deidra was hurrying back home,
She didn’t want farmer to know,
And because she was in such a terrible rush
She nearly trod on hedgehog’s toe.
And every day by milking time
Deidra was back in the line.
When the farmer counted his fifty cows
He thought everything was fine.
But on Friday Deidra was off again,
Away and out of sight.
No one knew where on Earth she’d gone,
Though they looked for her left and right.
And while they looked without finding,
Deidra had reached the gate.
It was closed but that wouldn’t stop her,
She couldn’t afford to wait.
Deidra had always been thoughtful,
With a clever mind of her own.
She’d watched before when they’d opened the gate,
Now she did it like she’d been shown.
Oh yes she did!
Still she was in a hurry,
There was no time to waste.
Not knowing someone was watching her go,
She crossed the field with haste.
The child was concerned about Deidra
And rode her bike to the farm,
She told the farmer his brown cow was lost,
Her voice was shrill with alarm.
She told him she would show him
Where she’d seen the brown cow.
He thanked her kindly and followed,
Though his walk was rather slow.
Finally they got there,
To the place the child had seen
A lone brown cow called Deidra
Walk to a distant line of trees.
The farmer crossed the distance
With his magnifying bins.
“Yes, I can, I can see her!” he said,
“She is hiding, of all things!”
“But why would she be hiding?”
The child couldn’t help asking.
“I really don’t know,” the farmer replied,
And then they walked, quietly, thinking.
All of a sudden, Deidra emerged
Rustling out of the background.
“There she is!” the little girl cried,
“I bet she’s glad she was found.”
The farmer stroked her and smiled,
While Deidra desperately hoped.
But her hopes were dashed in a moment,
Her cherished secret exposed.
“A calf!” the little girl squealed,
“The brown cow must be his mum.
But why would she hide him way down here?
She really is a strange one.”
The farmer looked on in amazement
As he realised what Deidra had done.
“She hid him here to keep him from me,
She didn’t want to lose another one.”
“You wouldn’t do that would you?
Take a baby from his mum?”
The shocked little girl asked the farmer,
He nodded “That’s life on a dairy farm.”
“The cows have to have babies
In order to make the milk, so
That I can sell it to people
Which means the calves have to go.”
“But the mummy really loves him,”
The teary child tried to explain,
“Please oh please don’t separate them.”
“No,” he said, “Never again.”
And the farmer kept his promise,
Became vegan and turned his farm
Into a sanctuary home for his cows,
Who kept their calves free from harm.
Then when anyone asked where Deidra went,
She answered honest and true,
“I’m going for a walk with my beautiful boy,
See you later, toodle-oo.”
This story is included in the paperback compilation of rhyming stories:
vegan stories for children, vegan children’s books, vegan books for children,