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Meet Li'l Johnny Deere

  • That's not a cow!

    It was an ordinary November day when Kari McKay went to check the cows on her farm in eastern Washington, but what she found when she got to the pasture was anything but ordinary.

  • Filling a Void

    “I think someone might be missing her baby, and someone else lost their mama,” McKay wrote on Facebook on November 11, 2016. “We could probably all learn something from these two right about now.”

  • A Fitting Name

    McKay thought the deer’s appearance in her pasture was just a fluke, but when he was still around a week later, she decided to give him a name: Li’l Johnny Deere.

  • Finding Safety in the Herd

    “It has been cold and windy the past couple of days here, but he’s pretty content with his herd and runs right to them if he feels threatened in any way,” McKay wrote on November 18.

  • The End of the Story?

    An Arctic front rolled through eastern Washington, bringing more snow and single-digit temperatures. Johnny stayed with his cows, but McKay thought their time together was nearly at an end. “Tomorrow is the day to bring cows off the hay circle and home for the winter,” she wrote on December 9. “I will be curious to see if Li’l Johnny makes the four-mile trek down the road with his cows or not."

  • Moving Day

    Cattle moving day came, and McKay said Johnny’s situation was questionable at first. “He wasn’t quite sure that he wanted to leave the pasture that he was comfortable being in, but after he realized that the cows weren’t coming back, he decided to run and catch up with them and tag along.”

  • A Winter Home

    "He made it to the winter pasture ground bucking and playing part of the way, where there is plenty to eat and drink and lots of shelter to get himself out of the blustery cold of winter," McKay says.

  • Staying by Choice

    "He loves these cows and feels safe with them," McKay says. "He’s a wild animal and is free to leave and go live his life at any time, but I’m hoping he’s here to stay for the winter.”

  • Unconditional Acceptance

    “Animals can be different from one another, but accepted and loved just the same,” she says. “Just like the rest of us who are looking for a safe place to land in life, Li’l Johnny has found his place for now: with a herd of cows.”

  • Li'l Johnny Goes Viral

    “I didn't realize this little guy would become such an inspiration to so many,” McKay says. “This little button buck came along during a time when the world seemed so negative, and having something positive to look forward to everyday not only made my day, but he also made most of yours!” She has created a Facebook page for fans to follow Li'l Johnny. Read more of their story here: 165 cows, 1 deer.

Read more about Kari McKay and get the full story on Li'l Johnny Deere: 165 Cows, 1 Deer.

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