Offbeat: Giant Cow

June 6, 2006--Posted at 7:00 a.m. CDT

RIPLEY COUNTY, MO-- He's a legend around the hills of Ripley county, as he should be.  His name is Freckles and he's one humongous cow.  Freckles the steer stands more than 6 feet tall and is estimated to weigh 3,000-3,500 pounds. And while that sounds intimidating, his owner, Jan Rogers, calls Freckles a real pussy cat.  She named him Freckles because of his light, spotted coat.

Rogers saved Freckles and another cow, "Shorty", when she bought the farm nine years ago, they were the only calves she could keep.  She said she had an instant bond with Freckles, but had no idea how big he would get.  "He eats a lot," said Rogers "but I believe it's my love that's helped him to grow so big."  Freckles loves white bread and eats it right out of Rogers' hand and she also feeds him plenty of sweet grain.

Rogers does'nt know how much longer her staggering steer will be around, he has cancer in both eyes.  Freckles has had two surgeries so far and Rogers is hoping for the best.  "I know I'll have to put him down one day," said Rogers, "but I hope it's later rather than sooner.  No matter when that happens it's been just great to have him in my life and me in his."