♦SOME kids had their own Nintendo. My little brother Abe and I each had our own calf.
Mum organised for us both to buy our own baby calves for $40 each. We would each raise them and after a number of years sell them back at the market price. It was a great idea actually, to teach us good business sense.
Abe named his calf ‘Princess’. I named mine ‘Coal.’ That’s probably why she hated me.
I didn’t have much to do with Coal when I was put in foster care. I saw her when I was on home visits but for brief, disinterested moments.
Abe and I got sick of waiting for the cash return and we sold our juvenile cows to the postman with a profit of about $150. Actually, the profit might have been $110. I can’t remember if I considered the original $40.
$150 is a lot of money for an 11-year-old. Except I can’t remember what I spent it on.
For almost a year Abe watched jealously as I brought home my Game Boy Colour and played Pokemon Silver during access visits. As soon as he got his money he made Mum take him to Big W. He bought a new Game Boy and Pokemon Gold.
I decided I was going to buy Pokemon Crystal. ‘You can’t!’ Mum said. ‘Just when Abe bought all this.’ To compete with you, is what she didn’t say.
I bought Pokemon Crystal anyway because Abe needed to be taught a lesson, and it was awesome because although it was just an upgraded Pokemon Silver, I could choose to be a boy OR a GIRL character.
Life was sweet, but I felt unsettled. I’d traded a cow I didn’t care about, but it was still a life. A life worth more if I’d waited for better cattle prices.