live on the edge of a small village in
the middle of the country. Every
morning I get on my red bicycle and
go speeding down a narrow country road on
the way to school.
My school is surrounded by tall trees in the
middle of a forest.
The road leads along the banks of a small
stream that splashes past our house.
In the afternoon I get back on my bike and
ride home over fields and meadows, down
gravel roads, with my hair blowing in the
I am rushing back because of my best friend
Louise. I can hardly wait to see her and tell
her about all the things that happened during
Luckily, she doesn’t live far away. In fact, she
lives in a pasture just behind the house where
I live with my mum and dad, my little brother
Philip and our cat Molly.
“Well, well, well,” I can hear you say,
“your best friend lives in a pasture?”
Yes, because my best friend isn’t a person.
She’s a cow. She is the most beautiful,
friendly and wonderful cow in the world.
Come with me and I’ll show you Louise.
hen I come home after
school I ride through the
garden all the way up to the
fence of Louise’s pasture.
Then I ring the bell on my bicycle loud and
clear even though Louise is already standing
at the fence mooing.
Ringing the bell is a signal that we have.
When I come home from school I ring the
bell so Louise knows I’m back.
Her big eyes shine when she sees me.
“Hello Louise! Are you glad to see me?”
Louise waggles her head and wiggles her big
ears and snorts:
“Of course I am, but you haven’t introduced
Oh no, I forgot! My name is Fiona and I’m
five years old.
“Just a minute,” you say to me. “How can
you talk to animals and understand what they
“Well,” I answer, “I just imagine what they
say and most of the time it’s true, isn’t it,
See? She knows what I’m saying.
I open my bag and get out some fresh clover.
“I picked this for you, dear Louise.”
She moos again and eats the clover.
I climb over the fence into the pasture and
watch her eating.
Apart from Louise there are fifty-nine other
cows on the farm but I like Louise best.
One day when I was little, I was in the garden
He was so busy pulling out weeds that he
didn’t even notice when I wandered over to
the pasture fence.
I wanted to meet the cows - they were so
So, I climbed through the bottom of the
fence and suddenly I was in the middle of a
herd of cows. They stared at me when I
stretched out my hands and walked towards
Some of them got so excited when they saw
me that they started running around
everywhere. One of the cows almost knocked
me over but Louise stopped her. Louise was
the youngest in the herd and she protected
Mum and Dad were very happy that Louise
helped me and since that day they have loved
her. That was also the day she became my
best friend. Now we share everything.
Well, almost everything.
But not the grass and the clovers because I
don’t like eating all that green stuff.
I wish Louise and her herd could be outside
more often, but most of the time they are in
the dairy barn.
The dairy barn is a big brown building at the
other end of the pasture. It has windows that
are always dirty so the light can’t get in. I
don’t like it because it is too dark inside.
On both sides of the barn there are boxes for
the cows. Each box is like a small room with
very thin walls. In the middle of the barn
there is a wide path that goes all the way
from one end to the other. Along the floor
there is a long trough where the farmer puts
feed for the cows when they can’t go outside.
Louise’s box is right at the end on the left
and I visit her as often as I can. I take the
pitchfork, clean out the old hay and put in
new, fresh hay. Louise likes that. She loves
Oh, I forgot to tell you, the dairy farmer is
called Mr Ronnie.
But I always call him Mr Tractor because he
is as big as the tractor he uses on his farm.
Mr Ronnie has hands the size of a spade and
he often mumbles to himself so I can’t
understand what he is saying.
Sometimes he tells me I’m not allowed to go
and see Louise because she’s busy.
I don’t like it when he does that because she
is my best friend and I love looking after her.
Other times strange things happen on his
farm. Some of the cows disappear and never
It is even stranger when new cows suddenly
arrive on the farm. Sometimes they don’t like
Louise. They eat her food or kick her with
their hind legs when she gets too close to
I’m very glad that Louise hasn’t vanished like
the others and that I can still go and visit her.
t the moment it is summer and
it is hot. There is only a tiny bit
of wind and not a single cloud
in the sky when I visit Louise.
I stroke her black and white hair.
“Do you want to go down to the stream and
cool down?” I ask her.
She waggles her head.
This means, “Yes please, I am very hot!”
On the way there, Louise snorts and flicks
her tail to shoo away the flies.
It only takes us a few minutes to get to the
I go into the water on tiptoes. It is very cold
so, like a bird, I stand on one leg
until I get used to it.
Louise doesn’t want to go in at all.
She is always like this.
Maybe she’s afraid
of the water but I don’t know why because I
have often seen her putting her head into her
water trough to have a drink.
I think she is like a little princess who always
needs to feel special.
“Come into the water, Louise,” I call out to
her. “It’s nice and cold. You’ll like it.”