We’ll miss you, MollyPublished 3:33pm Tuesday, January 7, 2014
By CASSANDRA MICKENS / Associate Editor
As 2013 drew to a close, many of us took a moment to remember those we lost, the talented, the influential and, in some cases, the heartwarming.
Among Shelby County’s most notable deaths was that of Molly Weathers, the beloved cow who grazed an Alabaster pasture off Shelby County 26 for nearly a decade with her equally beloved companion Maddie Lane Weathers, a.k.a. the goat.
I learned of Molly’s death via text message from Shelby County Reporter managing editor Katie McDowell. The text was three words, punctuated by a sad face emoticon — “The cow died. :(”
Though we knew Molly’s death was close at hand, the official confirmed report was no less jarring or heartbreaking.
I replied immediately, my face adopting the sad emoticon expression — “Noooooooooooo. :(”
My daily commute to Columbiana takes me along Shelby County 26, and the highlight of the drive was seeing Molly and Maddie Lane frolicking or resting in the green grass. Observing this unlikely animal friendship prompted me to write a story in 2009.
Molly and Maddie Lane’s owners, Michael and Bridgette Weathers, recalled the friendship got off to a rocky start, but eventually the cow and goat grew inseparable.
Molly’s rekindled instinct to mother and Maddie’s Lane’s childlike playfulness was the perfect pairing.
My first commute to Columbiana following Molly’s death left a dull ache in my heart. The sight of Molly and Maddie Lane frolicking was replaced by an empty pasture where a cow print cross marks a freshly dug grave.
But we’ll always have our memories. And so will Maddie Lane.
The Weathers are deciding between getting another cow or finding a good home for the goat who bellows with grief. I’m 100 percent sure Maddie Lane is grateful for having known Molly because she told her so during their first Christmas together.
That year the Weathers received a package with the label addressed to the cow from the goat. Inside was a framed picture of Molly and Maddie Lane, and a note that read, “Thanks for being my friend.”
Cassandra Mickens is associate editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 13 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is @CassMickens on Twitter.