Mariabella was a clever little cow. She loved, loved, loved the taste of ice cream from Mister Stan from down the road. The reason why she was clever was because she was always able to swindle cones of soft serve from Mister Stan simply by causing him some guilt. Mister Stan was married to the great Missus Eaglemont, who refused to take on his surname as she preferred hers so much more – she felt it had a nicer ring to it – and she was the stronger of the two, she was emotionally bolder and physically built, but she enjoyed bolstering him up to feel the same.
Mister Stan and Missus Eaglemont would provide the animals various varieties of ice cream throughout their day, but Mister Stan was unfortunately unable to do anything more than give his cones away. When Mariabella projected her cutesy faces at him, he would provide her a soft serve with sprinkles, she’d lick it up, then wink at him, then grin! His heart would properly be melted indeed.
“Don’t give her anymore, she’s lactose intolerant!” his wife would snap. “Don’t you understand?” But with a smile and a chew, Mariabella mooed and mooed, and once his wife toddled off, he became less independent and more malleable. This cow would manipulate Mister Stan into providing her with more and more soft serve, reluctantly provided by his unwilling hand, and then he would painfully watch her moan with satiated pleasure but later groan, from her lactose intolerance in her stomach, near her bulging udder.
How highly ironic that this cow was lactose intolerant! That the product that she natuarally created could cause her so much strife! The moans, aches, the gassiness, and the stomach pains that which occured shortly after the ice cream consumption were ridiculously unreasonable, but she couldn’t give up her addiction. She knew that Mister Stan was her ‘Provider’, that she was using him, despite the admonishments from his stern wife, the ‘Other’, yet she couldn’t give up her feelings of desire, for this milky goodness, a treat like no other.
It was as though she was compelled to slurp the sweetness, always beg for it, to ferociously eat, that she couldn’t stop herself, she was like a drunken mess, slurping rum from an almost empty bottle in the mean, darkened streets. And the desperation that she felt upon awakening, when she knew that the ice cream was far away, that it was only lunchtime that Mister Stan would be serving, she understood that she needed to relinquish this dairy product for something that made her feel great goodness, not overwhelming sickness.
Although it was not her fault that she was lactose intolerant, she was completely avoiding responsibility for taking care of her illness, and it was with this knowledge that Missus Eaglemont finally had enough, she put her foot down, and told her husband, “No more! That cow will have none!”
Mariabella had been ill throughout her infancy also, because she insisted on being fed by her mother, from the three working teats of her udder, sharing it with her siblings, also of three, with their great greedy rivalry just so, plain for all to see. They often took the teat more frequently than she, sucking for hours, until she was desperate, parched and hungry, and only a few droplets would be left for her, she could not understand why they would steal from her. Weren’t they meant to share, be considerate of each other’s needs? But even the few droplets made her sick, and she hadn’t even known why, her mother would never realise this, or even understand to speak, because lactose intolerance in cows really wasn’t a ‘thing’.
It had never been heard of before, and it was only with information overheard from the rabbits from the nearby warren down the hill that Mariabella was educated of the reason why lactose, milk, ice cream, made her ill. It was very simple, but she didn’t wish to accept it, it was something of which she did not wish to deal. The creamy soft serve was so sweet and delicious upon her lips, her wavering tongue, slurping here, there, upon the crispy cone, what a treat!
She would never give up her ice cream, even if Mister Stan stopped offering, she would find another way to satiate her needs! Besides, she knew there was another ice creamery down the street. It would be her next stop, that very night, when all the animals on the farm were asleep. She would enter the premises quietly, and see what treats there were, the makings of finery, the making of her dreams.
But she fell asleep that night, a deep slumber, and she was unable to rouse herself, when she had set the alarm to be beeping on and on. Instead, she hit snooze automatically, over and over again, and when she woke in the morning, she realised the error of her plan! She had unintentionally foiled her plan from even coming to fruition, simply because she was too sleepy to allow herself to be woken by the alarm. “Tomorrow, tomorrow,” she told herself, as she loudly slurped the soft serve from the offered cone from Mister Stan outside her favourite tree, this area she called her home.
And when she arrived the next night at the ice creamery, she knew she wanted to remain here, it was where she felt most alive. Choc mint, strawberry, apple berry, boysenberry, chocolate, caramel, pink lemonade, mango! All the flavours she’d never been exposed to, of such a rich brightness that she was lulled into a haze, and to the side of the regular ice cream, was a section of tubs with different, interesting names. She couldn’t read them, they were in some other language, strange to her eyes, undecipherable to her tongue, but when she gingerly tasted a few flavours, she realised there was no immediate ache in her tum!
To her great joy and amazement, she understood one word – gelato – she had heard of this before, from the rabbits, it was such a hopeful and an amazing word. Gelato had no dairy, these treats were utterly safe for her, and with a delight in her eye, a spring in her step, she realised there was no need to go! She would relocate to this farm, visit her friends in the other farm during the day, but return here for her morning, afternoon and evening treats, no need was there for Mister Stan to be admonished or guilt tripped, because here Mariabella could freely eat without dismay. All she needed was to create positive ties with the staff members here, because this was where she wanted to be. Her life would no longer be filled with happiness followed by deep aching and sorrow, a reluctance to accept that ice cream held no positives for her, only an uncomfortable mellow, but now she was free to do as pleased, she’d found her gelato land, a place of her abounding dreams.
Mister Stan and Missus Eaglemont were more than grateful that she’d solved the conundrum of her case, because they felt terrible every time she had grown sick, the joy of their ice cream had essentially gone to waste. Now they could attend to all the other animals on the farm, and allow Mariabella the happiness of being able to seek her own sense of freedom elsewhere, but still remain in contact with her friends, the other animals, and of this, everyone was wonderfully and duly amazed.
© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.