All Things In Good Time

© Joan Ann Lansberry

The Plan

Michael studied the web to learn all he could about the best way to proceed. After reading about cows, and remembering the faithful few who helped sustain him when he was young, he decided they would be best. An average Holstein cow weighs at least 1000 pounds, and up to 1500 when milking. Michael already knew the man high animals contained a lot of blood, but he marvelled at some of the facts he'd read. ''Five hundred gallons of blood need to pass through the udder to make one gallon of milk!'' His mouth watered at the thought of it!

That milk could be a profitable side benefit. But it would take a great deal of preparation and money. At first, he'd need to buy a large plot of land. They'd need to put a house on it, if it didn't already have one. And he'd need to have barns, fenced in pasture areas, means to contain and cool the milk once it was produced, and a good water supply. He'd never realized how much they drank. To make eight gallons of milk a day, average high cow output, a cow needs sixteen gallons of fresh, clean water.

He was surprised to learn how mechanized the milking procedure had become. Gone were the days of sitting on a stool, with a milking pail before one. The cows were now ushered into rows of stalls, each with an electronic device having four claws that were attached to each of the cow's four teats to capture the milk. Michael didn't plan to get that ambitious, as these 'parlors' were only needed for larger scale operations.

For the small farm he envisioned, it would be the old fashioned way. He and Golden would have the complete 'hands-on' experience. Indeed, some of the sites spoke of the possible unfortunate aspects of modern factory farming methods. For profit's sake, too much emphasis could be placed on production, at great disavantage to the cow. They were not able to live out their normal twenty to twenty five year life span, and as much as a quarter of them were culled and sent to become 'ground beef' before they reached their third year. Michael would have none of that. His cows would not be pressured. For one thing, MILK would not be their most important product, but merely a side benefit.

He would be certain to provide shade, shelter and clean comfortable resting areas. He and Golden would make sure there was sufficient food for the cows, which would each need eighty pounds of hay, corn or barley a day as well as thirty to forty gallons of water daily.

Yes, it was an ambitious plan, one that would take a great deal of money for the initial investments. But Michael was determined to get it. He'd figured out just such a way, one that would use all of his vampiric gifts he'd been honing the past couple of centuries. Rather than searching out any sort of 'evildoer', he'd ferret out the wealthier ones, and do a more thorough job of looting them. It was risky, most often their wealth had been obtained through criminal means, and, well, he was going to obtain it in rather criminal means himself.

He wouldn't think about that. Once his plan was fully in force, he and his family would never need to make use of human 'evildoers' again, and his stockpilage of karmic debt could go down. He worried about such things. He didn't want his family to bear the guilt of it. It was he who had made them, and he felt responsible for them. He would see to it they were fully self-sufficient.

Go to Chapter Twenty-Four, 'Artists Hurrumph!'
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