Barbara Cason, 77, had planned to bottle feed Kenny the calf when his mother died shortly after he was born on Cason’s nearly 200 acres in Topsey, north of Copperas Cove.
To save her the labor, Cason’s grandson and his wife, Clifford and Erika Cason, offered to care for the calf on their land in Burleson.
Fate intervened a couple of weeks ago when Kenny met Darlin.
“I guess the calf just decided he liked the horse,” Barbara Cason said about Darlin.
“They took it up there to feed it, and it just started nursing on that mare. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Only small mammals like cats and dogs have shadowed Darlin in the past, according to Erika Cason.
To see a calf nurse from her horse, which has never given birth, is unprecedented, she added.
Kenny the calf has learned to feed from a bottle, but still hits up Darlin for dessert.
“He’ll finish his bottle, then spend all day with her,” Erika Cason said about the pair.
Mother-calf separation is stressful, according to the Animal Welfare Institute website.
This “social instability” spurs a severe disturbance often associated with a variety of diseases and potential death.
By Darlin’s side, Kenny has been thriving, Erika Carson said.
“Nature does strange things,” Barbara Cason said.