Animals are much more intelligent than most people realize. While cats and dogs know their names, and many dogs will obey certain commands, what about a cow that will carry on a conversation with a person?

Tom Heck, his wife, Joanne, and their two children own and operate a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Ord...

Sounds kind of far-fetched, but I have a cow that will talk with me. Now, many of us are familiar with Mr. Ed, the talking horse on the TV show from many years ago. He would talk only to Wilbur Post, but as we all know, he really didn’t talk; that was Hollywood. Our cow Noodles, though, will talk to any one of us.

When a person is born into this world, they are given a name – so likewise, when we have a calf born here, we give them a name also. And we call them by their names the rest of their lives. When we go out to the cow pasture to bring them to the barn, they will usually be scattered all around, lying down enjoying the day and the lush green grass with the barn swallows and red-winged blackbirds flying about singing to them.

We start calling them by name and, one by one, when they hear their name called out, they will rise to their feet and head toward the barn.

Now you ask, “A real talking cow?” My answer is, “Yes – but not quite like you think.” Let me introduce you to Noodles. She is a crossbred cow that is a Montbeliarde-Ayrshire-Holstein. She is black and white in color and very friendly. She is an excellent cow and a joy to have in our barn. And normally we talk to her every day, and she likes it.


But how does she talk, you ask? I’ll explain. We ask her questions, and she always answers by shaking her head yes or no. Sometimes this comes in very handy when we want to find out information we don’t know. But we always test her first to make sure she understands us and is telling the truth. We ask her questions first we know the answer to, such as, “Do you like good corn silage?”

She will respond by shaking her head up and down. Then we will ask, “Do you like moldy hay?” She will respond by shaking her head sideways saying, “No.” Then we will ask if a cat ran in front of her in the last couple of minutes, and she will tell us that correctly. When we are sure she is clearly understanding us and answering our questions correctly, and she always does, then we ask her a question we don’t know the answer to.

A question I asked her just recently was, “Did a coyote go through the pasture last night when you were out there?” She responded by vigorously shaking her head, “No.” I was relieved with her answer, since I have a cow calve out there at night sometimes and I don’t want a coyote killing a newborn calf.

Noodles is a very special cow to us, but then all our cows are. It amazes us how God has made all the animals so unique and special. One thing really unique about dairy farming is interacting with all the different animals. It’s wonderful when we can take good care of them, and they let us know by a soft moo or a gentle lick of their tongue or a light bump with their nose. It blesses us.

How much more isn’t it with God when we His children love Him and say “thank you” to Him for all His wonderful care for us. And how much more shouldn’t we do that considering He gave His only Son Jesus to redeem us back to Himself. If Noodles talks to me, her owner – and she most certainly does – how much more shouldn’t we talk to our Heavenly Father who loves us so?    end mark

Tom Heck, his wife, Joanne, and their two children own and operate a 35-cow dairy farm in Wisconsin. Email Tom Heck or order his book at Life on the Family Farm.