The other day I went on a hike in the Chilterns, near Saunderton and Lacey Green. Toward the end of the walk we saw a sweet cow, standing on the path in front of the gate. He sauntered off as we approached, and then we saw there were several young male cows (technically, they were steers, but who's looking?) in the pasture, on the other side of what would have been a fence if it had been complete.
(No, I did not have the dog with me, for precisely this reason: so many animals are not properly fenced, and Sparky doesn't share my love for livestock.)
I asked this young cow and his buddies to pose for a few photos, and they obliged (as cows invariably do, unlike sheep).
Such friendly guys, just living the bachelor life on the green pasture. And then one of them, who must have been out sowing wild oats in the next field, snuck up behind us and started licking my friend's sweater, leaving a trace of slobber. She seemed a bit upset by this but I wouldn't have minded. Cow slobber, as I found out, is nothing like dog slobber.
One of the cows I was photographing seemed to want to smell me, so I put my hand out, and then he wanted to know what I tasted like, so he licked me. And then another wanted to lick me. (If you give a mouse a cookie...or a cow a sniff...)
Cows have rough tongues, sort of like large, thick cat tongues. None of them showed any teeth, unlike the horses I tried to befriend at the Home of Rest for Horses. (It's no wonder I much prefer cows to horses!)
These guys looked to be less than a year old, not quite full grown, but old enough to be separated from their mums. I haven't seen any spring younguns in the pasture yet; maybe with the late spring their debut has been held up.
I'll have more photos next week, of some sheep we came across in the same place. They were not quite as friendly as the cows, but then few animals are, I've found.
Cows just want to love you. All over. With their fat tongues.