Bruce, the highland bull, and Betty, the highland cow,
were so excited. Their baby was due very soon. They spent much of their
day gathering heather and leaves, and laying them down in the dirt for
their baby’s bed.
One day they were out picking up some thistle down when
Betty suddenly felt very tired. Bruce said, "Why don’t you go and take a
nap. I’ll finish gathering the thistle fluff, then I think I will take a
little swim in the loch."
Betty thought that sounded like a good idea, so she
went home. After Bruce finished his afternoon swim, he too headed for
home. When he arrived there he found three baby girl cows lying next to
Betty. "Meet your new baby daughters," she announced to a surprised new
father. Bruce couldn’t speak. "Surprised? I didn’t know we were having
triplets either," Bailey said.
Three babies at one time! That meant Bruce would have
to work three times as hard to feed and clothe them. Still, he was happy.
He smiled a big bull smile, then went to each of his little babies and
held them. He picked up the first calf, who was lying by her mother’s
right leg. Her eyes were deep brown. "I think we shall call you Bailey."
The calf smiled at her father.
Then he went to the next baby. Her eyes were as brown
as Baileys. "Oh dear!" Bruce said. "Her eyes are brown too. Oh dear! She
looks exactly like Bailey. How will we ever tell them apart?" Bruce
decided that if he put each baby back in the exact spot he’d picked them
up from, he’d remember which one was which. He kissed the baby and said,
"We shall call you Blair." He lay her down, careful to put her next to
Betty’s left leg.
The next calf had the same brown eyes as the other two.
"Oh dear! Her eyes are brown! Oh dear!" Bruce cried. He didn’t know how
he’d ever be able to tell them apart. He kissed his third calf and said to
her, "Your name will be Brooke." Then he lay her down by Betty’s head.
"What beautiful names you have picked for our identical
triplet calves. I love them all," Betty said with a smile. Then she kissed
each one as she recited their names. "This is Bailey, this is Blair, and
this one by my head is Brooke." The three calves smiled back at their
mother. "We’re the luckiest parents around, aren’t we?" Betty reminded
He nodded in agreement, and went off to find some food
for his family. He was gone a long time. When he came back he saw the
triplets, lying together. He dropped all the food he had just gathered
from the valley and ran to wake up Betty. "Dear, you must wake up!" he
said as he shook her.
Betty woke up; so did all three calves. They began to
cry and she had to quiet them down. "What is it? Look at what you have
done. You’ve woken them up and…..", she stopped, realizing what had
happened. The calves were all lying next to each other.
"Oh dear!" Bruce said. "How will we tell them apart
Betty thought about it for a while. "I know! I have
some ribbons in that bag over there. Each is a different color. We’ll put
them on the girls and then we’ll be able to tell them apart by the color
they are wearing."
Bruce went and got the bag. He picked out a blue ribbon
and put it around Bailey’s thick neck. Then he put a red ribbon around
Blair’s neck, and a yellow ribbon on the last calf, whom he presumed was
Brooke’s neck. "There now, each one of them has a different colored
The triplets looked at the bright ribbons around each
other’s necks, then fell back to sleep.
Bruce had to go back out to find more food. Betty went
down to the loch to take a bath. She swam around, dunking herself under
the water. When she was done, she helped Bruce carry the food back to
where the triplets lay sleeping. "Why don’t you wake up Bailey first, so
she can eat. Then, when she’s done, we’ll wake up Blair, and then Brooke,"
Betty suggested .
Bruce went over to his sleeping daughters and looked at
the ribbons. He couldn’t remember which calf had which color. He knew that
Betty would remember, so he went and got her. "I’m sorry, but I can’t
remember which one is Bailey," he apologized, feeling like a terrible
father for forgetting.
Betty went over to her calves. "Why you silly hippo!
This one, the one with the red ribbon; this is Bailey!" Then she looked at
the other two, "Or is this Bailey? Or is this her?"
Bruce said, "Oh dear! Oh dear! Maybe we’d better think
up a different way to tell our identical daughters apart."
Betty had a great idea. "Let’s put them in frilly
dresses that match their ribbons. Surely we’ll remember that way!" So she
dressed Bailey in a pretty blue and white polka dot dress, Brooke in a
yellow and white dress, and Blair in a red dress with white lace all over
it. "There. That will do it," Betty proclaimed. Luckily she had guessed
right on which calf was in which color.
The triplets smiled at their mum and dad, then at each
other. They rolled over and went to sleep. Betty had forgotten to feed
them, but they looked so adorable as they slept, so she decided to let
them be. She and Bruce went for a walk down to a nearby patch of clover.
They nibbled away at it, enjoying the delicious taste. After they had
their fill, they lay down in it and took a short nap. When they returned
to their babies, they found the three girls busily eating away. "Oh, how
precious," Betty said. "Look at our little Bailey munching away so
cutely." She pointed to the baby in the blue dress.
"But dear," Bruce hippo interrupted, "That’s not
Bailey. It’s Brooke. Bailey is in the yellow dress. Or is she? Oh dear! Oh
Again Betty and Bruce could not tell their calves
apart. They had forgotten which one was which. Betty said, "Enough of
this! I am going to make sure we can tell them apart from now on!" She
went over to her sewing box and got a needle and thread. Then she went to
the baby in the yellow dress and said, "I can tell my babies apart!"
She looked into the baby’s deep brown eyes. "This is
Blair" She took off the yellow and white dress, embroidered the name Blair
onto it, and put the dress back on her baby. "Now, we’ll all know this is
Blair from this moment on."
Then she went to the baby in the blue and white polka
dot dress. She looked carefully at her, and said, "This is Bailey. I know
my own calves." She took off her dress and stitched the name Bailey on
with needle and thread. She put the dress back on the calf. "We’ll be able
to tell this is Bailey from now on."
She went to the calf in the red dress with white lace.
"You must be Brooke," Betty confidently said. She took of the baby’s dress
and stitched Brooke on to it with thread. "There now, we will always be
able to tell our babies apart."
And it didn’t matter that they were all wrong, because
Bailey, Blair, and Brooke didn’t know any better.