Cow and goat become unlikely roadside attraction

The commute along Shelby County 26 has its fair share of landmarks — the Saginaw Volunteer Fire Department, the faded blue sign for Vanderslice Tire and Wrecker Service, and, undeniably the most popular attraction of the drive, the inseparable cow and goat that graze an Alabaster pasture.

“They are the talk of the community,” owner Bridgette Weathers said of cow Molly and goat Maddie Lane. “We have met a lot of people up and down this road because of these two animals.”

Molly joined the Weathers family roughly six years ago. Bridgette and husband Michael bought the milking cow with intent to breed a calf and educate son Mason and daughter Lindsey-Claire, but a veterinarian later informed the Weathers that Molly was too old to have more calves.

As Molly grew accustomed to her new home, passersby worried the cow spent too much time alone.

“She’d been by herself long before we got her and she was used to being alone, but people would leave us notes saying our cow was lonely and she needs a friend,” Bridgette said.

Two of Molly’s observers, a couple who owned Maddie Lane, thought the goat would be the perfect companion. At the time, Maddie Lane was grieving the loss of a cow that had been sent to slaughter, and she constantly bellowed for her friend’s return.

“(The couple) drove by and saw our cow and were wondering if we’d take the goat,” Bridgette said. “They left us a note saying they had a goat that’s very lonely, she wasn’t eating anymore and she was just missing her friend.”

The Weathers don’t recall the name of the couple who gave them Maddie Lane four years ago, but they’ll never forget the cow and the goat’s first encounter – Maddie Lane ran to Molly out of love, and Molly ran away from Maddie Lane out of fear.

“It was the funniest thing you’d ever seen,” Bridgette said.

A BUDDING RELATIONSHIP

The Weathers tried to separate the cow and the goat their first night together, but to no avail. Maddie Lane escaped from the barn and charged through the fence to Molly. A frightened Molly rammed into the fence to get away from Maddie Lane, and suffered a few minor cuts.

“A couple of days went by, and they still were not good friends,” Bridgette said. “The cow wasn’t being very friendly to the goat and we thought it wasn’t going to work out, but within a couple of weeks they were like best buddies.”

Molly began to think of Maddie Lane as her baby, and seldom does the motherly cow let the mischievous goat out of her sight.

When Molly can’t see Maddie Lane, the Weathers can hear the cow calling for the goat from their home just up the hill.

When Maddie Lane wriggles under the fence and out onto the grass near the highway – a common occurrence – Molly grows anxious.

“Maddie Lane just thinks the grass is greener on the other side,” Bridgette said. “If she were to get hit, I don’t know what the cow would do.”

The pairing of Molly and Maddie Lane has resulted in countless phone calls and notes left on the Weathers’ front door. People call and write to say they enjoy seeing the cow and the goat on their daily commute. They say Molly and Maddie Lane make the day a little brighter.

The most memorable gesture came during Molly and Maddie Lane’s first Christmas together. The Weathers received a package wrapped in black and white paper. The label was 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.”