Archived Story

Finding a happy cow

Published 9:34pm Thursday, February 6, 2014

She might not have the iconic smile of her namesake, but it’s safe to assume that Mona Lisa — a pregnant 3-year-old Guernsey cow that escaped her pen on Jan. 25, soon after being brought to the Hosier Road farm of new owners Nichole and Brian Stewart — is a far happier cow now that she’s safe and well fed again.

The Stewarts had brought their new cow home after purchasing her in Chesapeake. They placed her in a fenced-in area with their heifer and thought everything was going fine until they noticed that the fence had been knocked down and the new cow had escaped, just seven hours after her arrival on the Suffolk farm.

So began a 10-day search for the prodigal cow that included neighbors and passersby and had folks in rural Suffolk wondering whether there could be a happy ending for a cow lost near the Dismal Swamp in the middle of a snowstorm.

But in a familiar refrain for regular readers of this page, neighborly people in Suffolk came to the rescue. Billy Hunter, a cattle farmer on nearby White Marsh Road, spotted Mona Lisa on Tuesday and began trying to coax her into his pasture. After he notified the Stewarts that he had found the cow, they — and a Suffolk Animal Control officer — arrived to help, and Mona Lisa was finally rescued.

The California Milk Advisory Board used to run ads suggesting that milk from that state was better, because its cows were happier. If it’s true that happy cows make better milk, we’re guessing that Mona Lisa will produce the sweetest, creamiest milk in Suffolk, now that she’s once again safe and sound.


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