Blackie the Cow
My grandparents had a farm and vineyard on Coronation Avenue in Kelowna, B.C. They had all kinds of animals: chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs, cats, dogs, pigeons, rabbits and most importantly a beautiful black cow named Blackie. Blackie supplied the family with milk and was more importantly a much cherished family pet. She used to follow Mom and Uncle Len to school and stand at the corner of the lot and “moooooooo” until the school insisted she be tied up at home!
Blackie eventually gave birth to a female calf they named, of course, Brownie because she was the colour of toffee! She too became a family pet and followed everyone around. She would get out of her pen and stand by the back door waiting for someone to come out and see her. Everyone in the family was very attached to Blackie and her calf Brownie.
As time went on, Mom and Uncle Len grew up and went to the high school so Blackie and Brownie had to be content with waiting for them to come home. Mom graduated from high school and then Uncle Len graduated and they were off to jobs that took them away from the farm all day but Blackie and Brownie still waited for them by the front gate.
And so on a very sad day in 1935, Blackie died. She was quite old and it was a blessing but everyone was inconsolable especially my grandfather and Brownie! Brownie kept pushing Blackie with her nose, trying to wake her up. Grandpa finally had to put Brownie in the back pasture where she “cried” most of the day until Mom and Uncle Len went and got her.
Grandpa was so overcome with grief that he called all his Italian friends to come and help him bury Blackie. All the wives came and brought food and Grandpa poured jugs of homemade wine for all to drink.
It was decided that Blackie would be buried in the front yard where she usually stood and waited for Mom and Uncle Len to come home. It took most of the day to dig a hole big enough but eventually it was finished and Blackie, wrapped in some clean white sheets was laid to rest with plenty of prayers. The mourners stayed and enjoyed a fine meal and plenty of good wine. I am sure that if the City of Kelowna were to excavate that area, they would surely wonder what had been buried there!!