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Visit With Cows Udder-ly Thrills Kids

February 09, 2001|GRACE E. JANG

Although "Farmer in the Dell" may be her favorite song and moo juice her preferred drink, 4-year-old Rachel Moskowicz had never seen a cow until Thursday.

Rachel and dozens of other youngsters at the Cal State Northridge Child and Family Studies Center squealed their welcome for guests Clarabelle the Cow and Monterey Jack the Calf.

They petted Jack, squeezed Clarabelle's udder and mimicked bovine mastication.

The educational program, sponsored by the Dairy Council of California's Mobile Dairy Classroom, was a first for the school and intended to teach children that milk, ice cream, yogurt and butter come from a living source, said director Barbara Hill.

Clarabelle--black, white and a lissome 1,000 pounds--doesn't like it when people try to ride her, the tots also learned. The 3-year-old Holstein dairy cow wasn't trained for that, the instructor said.

"And her tail's a built-in fly swatter," said Efrain Valenzuela of the Dairy Council. Cows eat hay, have one stomach with four separate compartments and can produce milk only after giving birth to a calf, Valenzuela told the children.

Sean Keating, 3, wasn't all that impressed. "My dad's got a horse," he said, shrugging. "And he had a baby."

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