Wild Thing

☆ August 25, 2014


I am convinced that Leila is a barrel horse trapped in the body of a cow. She loves to run and race and turn tight corners at high speeds. And she loves to kiss. It’s still very difficult to get photos of her – she’s either running at top speed or in my lap.


She and Jupiter have become fast friends. Most black Angus (Jupiter’s breed) have pure black ears, but Maia has red-gold edges on her ears – Jupiter inherited them, and they match Leila’s.


Leila’s coat is strange and amazing. She is still every color: black (stripes down her back and belly, and around her eyes, mouth, ears, and hooves), gray and silver (the insides of her legs), brown and red (her head and sides), and pale blond (her neck and chest). Wild.


It’s been a very strange year here, a strange year for me. So many contradictions that actually aren’t; everything in everything. I doubt my words make sense – I’m still making sense of it all – but Leila is an embodiment of chaos that is actually pure love, and all the things that appear to be impossible contradictions that are actually perfect puzzle pieces working together.



51 Responses to “Wild Thing”

  1. julie
    August 25th, 2014 @ 4:48 am

    I’m absolutely melting. Lovely written, as always, and gorgeous pics. Kisses for Leila!

  2. Lis
    August 25th, 2014 @ 4:53 am

    I’m in love with the goth eyeliner look and completely punk style stripey coat. You go, Leila!

  3. Kristan
    August 25th, 2014 @ 6:07 am

    OK, you’re making it very difficult for me to enjoy meat anymore… ;P

    Such beautiful babies!

  4. Vee
    August 25th, 2014 @ 6:11 am

    Wonderful photos – love her colours!

  5. Colleen G
    August 25th, 2014 @ 6:48 am

    I will be looking at these pictures all day. I am totally in love with those babies. Leila is remarkable.

  6. Marg
    August 25th, 2014 @ 8:14 am

    Glad to hear that I’m not the only one who thinks everything is topsy turvy this year. I’m just kind of standing back out of the way and watching things unfold as they will.

    Love that racing stripe down Leila’s back, she’s very unique looking for sure but it all works on her.

  7. Dogmom
    August 25th, 2014 @ 8:15 am

    Beautifully written, Shreve, and thought-provoking too. An analogy to life perhaps too? She’s a gorgeous girl and you’re both so fortunate. And I don’t believe in accidents…

  8. Calico
    August 25th, 2014 @ 8:19 am

    Wow – she’s amazing !! Who’s her daddy ?
    As for Jupiter, did his mama’s hormones finally kick in for to be a better mom ? He looks good!

  9. Amy in AMA
    August 25th, 2014 @ 9:15 am

    Wild Thing…I think I love you

  10. shreve
    August 25th, 2014 @ 9:21 am

    C ~ Sir Baby! Yes, Maia’s doing better in the mom dept, but he’s also getting a sip or two from Daisy every morning :)

  11. kls2686
    August 25th, 2014 @ 9:26 am

    LOVE Leila’s wild and almost rebellious look. Very untamed. She looks so sweet! Glad she is in your life Shreve!

  12. Janet M
    August 25th, 2014 @ 9:35 am

    She’s so adorable! They look so cute together.

  13. Terry
    August 25th, 2014 @ 9:35 am

    Those are the prettiest cows I’ve ever seen. They’re just beautiful. Their colors are so – wow.

  14. L.E. Bradford
    August 25th, 2014 @ 9:46 am

    What a beauty!

  15. Sian
    August 25th, 2014 @ 10:08 am

    Honestly, Leila is the most beautiful–and unusual–cow I have ever seen. I am very much hoping she will in time mother many offspring who inherit her amazing looks!

  16. Lisa K.
    August 25th, 2014 @ 10:15 am

    I’d like to place my order for a Leila calendar right now!!

  17. Mickey W
    August 25th, 2014 @ 10:49 am

    Love the “impossible contradictions that are actually perfect puzzle pieces working together.” Makes perfect sense of a life that does not seem to make sense….which would be all our lives, I’m sure!

  18. mlaiuppa
    August 25th, 2014 @ 11:15 am

    It’s like Leila was colored by a committee.

    I think her various shades and patches are delightful. They demonstrate the power of genetics and are an homage to all of her ancestors.

    And what a delightful girl. She is going to grow up to be a lover. I hope she never loses that playful quality.

  19. hello haha harf
    August 25th, 2014 @ 11:44 am

    yep, i just fell in love with another cow. two actually. see what you can do with your gorgeous photography and lovely words?!

    p.s. thanks so much for sharing such beauty with us.

  20. Jamie Weaver
    August 25th, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

    She is absolutely stunning!!! I am smitten and for the first time in love with a cow.

  21. Ana
    August 25th, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

    I have never written something like this before…

    I am completely in love with a cow and her name is Leila.

  22. Felyne
    August 25th, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

    She’s the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcow! (no relation to the play).

    I think she’s part panda with those eyes.

    How is your little grey cow doing, is she still grey?

  23. Wo
    August 25th, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

    Her eyelashes are devine, too. So glad you took the time to post the photos & write-up Shreve. Your words always move me and these photos…. mooo-ved (sorry for the pun) me as well!

  24. Rose Marie B
    August 25th, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

    I want to kiss both of their snotty little noses! I don’t think it’s all that mysterious why Leila’s so wonderful…the universe knew that you needed her to be. Her swirly forehead slays me. :)

  25. Eni
    August 25th, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

    I can’t handle how grumpy Jupiter looks.

  26. mj
    August 25th, 2014 @ 2:42 pm

    I think Leila’s coloration is perfect for your camera and your eye for the perfect photographic angles and light play.

    I think Jupiter looks serious, not necessarily grumpy:)

    Both look like they arrived in your life at a perfect time.

    Thanks as always, for sharing the amazing life of the Farmily members.

  27. shreve
    August 25th, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

    F ~ Part panda!!! Love it.

    Thanks all, for your words and love.

  28. Pat D.
    August 25th, 2014 @ 3:40 pm

    Leila Franscesa, the Russet Runner!

    Great calves, great photos (as always!)

  29. TomT
    August 25th, 2014 @ 4:04 pm

    Very cool pics! I’ve never seen a cow with those markings. It’s great that they’ve got each other. Maybe a love calf is in their future….

  30. steph in oregon
    August 25th, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

    I so enjoy your descriptions of their personalities–I just gaze at their pictures and smile.
    How lucky you are to have them–and how lucky they are to have you!

  31. Anna
    August 25th, 2014 @ 8:06 pm

    She is gorgeous and sounds like a ton of fun! ENJOY!!

  32. Pamela
    August 25th, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

    I think she is your every cow…meaning her colors are a little bit of every one of her family members past and present. Her spirit and liveliness however appear to be all hers alone!

  33. Laura
    August 25th, 2014 @ 9:38 pm

    Leila is so beautiful . I would give anything to scratch her ears and give her a kiss on her pretty lil schnozz

  34. Rose
    August 26th, 2014 @ 2:38 am

    Leila looks like she went wild with the eye make-up!

  35. Carol K
    August 26th, 2014 @ 10:26 am

    I have never seen such a beautiful cow! A poster child, for sure.

  36. Heidi
    August 26th, 2014 @ 11:49 am

    I’d LOVE to see a photo of Leila in your lap!

  37. Marina
    August 26th, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

    It’s one of the reasons I love calico and tortoiseshell and asymmetrically patterned cats–I love the uniqueness. I love all the colors and patterns in your calves. Couldn’t you just take one of those colors and just drink it or bathe in it? So visceral….

  38. Patricia Long
    August 26th, 2014 @ 6:25 pm

    Leila and Jupiter are both quite unique and I think Leila is a crazy quilt of magnificent beauty and I could watch them both all day long. All the cattle you have shown us are beautiful and happy looking animals. I do think I love all your animals. Charlie’s picture on the 26th of him napping is also a great picture of him!

  39. Mary R.
    August 26th, 2014 @ 8:20 pm

    I know what you mean; must have been that Supermoon or something. So much, so much, so much, so much, somehow bringing or working toward something. Hard work, this something!

    All of your babies have always been beautiful, each and every one, so very beautiful. Even the goose, so special in his own way. Thank you for sharing them with us in pictures and words. I cherish them all.

    And on we go…xoxo

  40. Deborah
    August 26th, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

    She is a beauty queen!

  41. Karen
    August 26th, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

    I mean really, those colors…. INCROYABLE!

  42. Jenny C
    August 26th, 2014 @ 11:07 pm

    Oh Shreve, they’re beautiful… *sigh*. Leila Francesca has that smoky eye DOWN. I just sit and stare at her pics. Felyne’s panda description is just perfect. As for Jupiter, he has, frankly, a regal face, like a Pharaoh. He’s gorgeous. Thanks a ton for sharing.

    Love all these comments!
    Pamela (32), beautifully said: “I think she is your every cow… meaning her colors are a little bit of every one of her family members past and present.”

    Kristan (3) – I couldn’t agree more. I’ve eaten little beef in the past 3 or 4 years, and what I do eat is sourced well, all due to this blog. I live right on the edge of a small city and am surrounded by farms, silos and cattle. Have to watch how I drive now, as I’m always distracted by the beauty of each bull, cow and calf.

  43. Kimmy
    August 27th, 2014 @ 7:32 am

    Leila is mesmerizing to look at. It’s so great to see her and Jupiter together. :)

  44. Susie B.
    August 27th, 2014 @ 8:06 am

    Hello Leila Francesca — I know why you’re here. You are life, itself. You are a stripe from all who came before you. You are a message from the spirit of Frisco to live! To charge forward because that is the only path ahead. You are light and energy and the affirmation of love. Your job is to stir things UP and focus your human mama on chasing you down the trail of life as fast as you can run. Go Leila, go.

  45. Anne
    August 27th, 2014 @ 9:08 am

    Wow. What a lovely bovine! She looks great.

  46. kellig
    August 31st, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

    Leila and Jupiter look like trouble together =) they might engage in some human-tipping if not watched carefully. Leila’s coat is just gorgeous, as are your pictures, as always. just coming to this page is like a meditation… glad you are thriving. there is a season for everything, and from my own experiences with grief, the season after the initial black funk, is an alternately quiet and exhilarating time of awareness. I am glad you are letting it work its magic in you. best wishes always…

  47. ChristineV
    September 1st, 2014 @ 10:23 am

    Such beautiful girls. I think they need tiaras. Do you have a Bedazzler?

  48. Patr
    September 2nd, 2014 @ 11:46 am

    Oh, they are both beautiful. I agree – this year has been a odd one to comment on. Exciting, but boring too. I feel changes coming, changes for the worse, and I feel dread.

    But then again, I also feel hopeful that change will be better in the end. Dread and Optimism all in the same breath.

    Does that make sense? Kiss Charlie, Chloe and the kitties for me.

  49. Patricia Long
    September 4th, 2014 @ 12:20 am

    Shreve, I have been looking at all of your photos on flicker and they are all fantastic. I love what I see of your ranch thru these photos—from the barn you are building to your beautiful Leila and Jupiter, Chloe and her facination with the chickens, the baby cantalope etc., the kittens, the skies and the roads. It is as if I were there. I love it. I also loved your “passport” photo!

  50. Kris
    September 4th, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

    I rescued a dog earlier this year and it has been a difficult, but incredibly rewarding journey as she adjusts into life with our family. I didn’t even have the words to describe her until your phrase about Leila being” an embodiment of chaos that is actually pure love.” Thank you for eloquently summing it all up.

  51. Barbara
    September 15th, 2014 @ 3:54 am

    I can’t help but ask. Will Leila be raised for meat? I guess Jupiter will too?

    I don’t come here that often anymore because I’m just never going to understand how you can see the cows as babies, name them, then kill them and sell them for parts.

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