Now, what one should keep in mind is that Pauline Wayne is used to being alone. In her time, she’s the only White House cow. There aren’t too many other barn animals kept on property. People come out to see her, occasion, but it’s a fairly quite, lonely life.
Jobs aren’t given to her very often, either, and it’s never a double job like this. So she shouldn’t mind being alone.
And yet, something about this forest speaks of a danger to be found in loneliness. Pauline Wayne can’t help but try to hurry after Sunny.
It seems like forever before she hears the dog. Pauline Wayne, with a sigh of relief, calls out, “did you find something?”
“Pauline Wayne! Hurry!” Suddenly, Sunny bursts from the brushes, nearly slamming into the cow. “I found the girl but then I didn’t know what to do! I didn’t want to just leave her, but I don’t think I can help her on my own and she looks really scared and cold and – ”
Pauline Wayne cuts the dog off. “Just show me where she’s at.”
Sunny nods, and vanishes into the brush once more.
This time, Pauline Wayne is able to stay hot on her heels. The ground slopes down, into a large basin. It’s full of roots and rocks. And, at the bottom of it is the young girl, all curled up on herself.
Sunny says, “I think her leg is hurt. I don’t think that she can get back up.”
“Alright,” says Pauline Wayne. She gives the rocks an uneasy sideways look. “You’re going to go find help. That woman you saw earlier. Make her follow you, no matter what happens. I’ll go sit with the girl.”
“What?” Sunny yelps. “I don’t think it’s safe for you to try going down there! You’re so big and unflexible!”
Pauline Wayne is meant for fields, not slopes and stones. But this is a job that must be done, and it’s a child that must be helped.
“I can’t move fast,” says Pauline Wayne. “And no human would follow a cow. This is how it must be done.” Then, gravely, because she remembers being young and new to the Presidential Pets, she says, “not every job will be easy, and not all of them will be safe. But we’re Presidential Pets, and that means we’ve got to do it all the same.”
Sunny looks down at the girl one last time, and then with a low mournful whine, nods. Just once. “Alright. I’ll find help. Just…be careful, please?”
Pauline Wayne uses her nose to nudge the dog away. When Sunny has vanished from sight, the big cow turns and looks at the slope. “Alright, Pauline Wayne. Just do it, and get it over with. Help the girl, and then…get some sweet grass when you’re home.”
Katelynn E Koontz – Author