A seven-year-old girl has proved to be a real-life cow girl – after forming a unique bond with an orphaned calf she hand-reared from birth.
Cute Grace Carter stepped in to raise tiny Damsel after her mother died from a post-natal infection.
The youngster bottle-fed the Lincoln Red and even sang lullabies to her to give her the love and attention she needed.
And after forming a unique bond, the pair became the stars of the show when they competed in the ring at the Royal Norfolk Show.
Grace’s mother, Charlotte Carter, 28, said: “They best friends, they’re inseparable.
“Grace grew up on our farm and has always loved animals but there’s something special between her and Damsel.
“As soon as her mother passed away, Grace wanted to take care of her and she does everything for her.
“I’m surprised she’s not tried to bring her in the house yet, it wouldn’t surprise me though.”
Damsel was born in January, much to the joy of Charlotte and her husband Adam Carter, 34, who run their farm near King’s Lynn.
They had bought her mother Deeping Damsel a number of years ago to show and breed from, but Damsel was her first calf after the couple had her artificially inseminated last year.
But tragedy struck days after the much-anticipated calf was born when Deeping Damsel contracted an infection.
Charlotte said: “We had been trying to calf Deeping Damsel for nearly four years, we had wanted one for such a long time.
“Damsel finally arrived but then her mother died three to four days later.
“She developed an infection which is sadly just one of those things. We walked in to see her and she was dead.
“That night we had to take Damsel away and put her under a heat lamp. She was crying for her mother and Chloe stepped in to comfort her.
“That’s how it all started and now Damsel sees Chloe as a sort of mother. It’s amazing really.”
The unlikely pair wowed judges when they competed at the Royal Norfolk Show last month.
They came fourth place in the calf classes for Lincoln Red Cattle and also won a yellow rosette for third place in the young handlers’ section.
Charlotte, also mum to nine-year-old son Freddy, said: “Grace took such pride in taking Damsel to the show. And Damsel was as good as gold.
“She was grooming her before they were called into the ring and she was so proud to walk away with her rosettes.
“They’re hoping to go on and so more and more. Hopefully their special bond will see them come out on top one day.”
The family are now trying to build up their herd of Lincoln Reds – helped in future, they hope, by Damsel.
The Lincoln Red is one of the oldest of the UK’s native beef breeds, believed to have been brought in by the Viking invaders of Britain.