Little Red, the Hereford Calf
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 by Frank Shortt
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(An environmental lesson)

Little Red lived on a farm in Southwest Virginia. His surroundings were green pastures, fence enclosures, and Mama’s full udder in case he became thirsty for milk.

One day his whole world changed! A crushed automobile was towed into the pasture where he had enjoyed so much tranquility!

What is that ugly piece of garbage?” Little Red thought as he suddenly realized that there was a foreign object on his peaceful grazing land!

“When my owner built the big fences I ruminated, now ain’t that just grand!”

Little Red did not know that his surroundings were destined to become a regular junkyard for unwanted automobiles!

Next morning as Little Red bounded around the hillside he saw a truck loaded with lumber come chugging up to the pasture. Then other vehicles followed unloading several strong-looking men.

What are these humans up to?” Little Red asked himself, as the men began unloading the lumber.

In just a few days a huge room appeared and Red found out later that this room was referred to as a barn. Later Red’s owner began filling up the large room with hay bales and tied oats. Red heard his owner say that this was to feed the livestock during the cold Virginia winters. This did not sound so bad for an oft-hungry growing calf!

Red thought, “My space is becoming less and less what with the junk cars, the huge red thing called a barn, and some other outbuildings where the owner stores some unwanted furniture and other junk!” Little Red was suddenly feeling very dejected!

Little Red did some deep thinking as he saw his environment becoming full of junk!

“If I could have my say-so, I would do a great turnaround. I would clean up all these man-made things that are nothing but clutter.”

 Red did not know that the owner kept these old beat-up automobiles for spare parts for his now-running cars. Red did notice that most of the junk cars looked about the same.

I sure wish they would plant corn in this pasture,” thought Little Red!

Unfortunately the owner had only one thing on his mind and that was to keep the remaining cars running. He did not seem to care for the environment nor the animals that would probably be eating grass that had been polluted by leaking oil, gasoline and other liquids required to keep an automobile running! He did not want to take the time to plant lush green fields of good things to eat. Red’s limited mind could not dwell on these deep things for too long.

Had Little Red been a real thinker he might have thought, “Wouldn’t it be a whole lot better in the long run to allow the land to go back the way the Native Americans saw it?”

But Little Red had limited ability to think of future things so he could not see the way things should be. He could not envision unpolluted, clear streams running freely along the valleys. He could not see the green hillsides unmarred by rotting automobile carcasses polluting the landscape! He could only see his next meal coming in the form of his Mama.

What will Little Red’s future be?