Nothing says love like a blank cow statue—at least, if you're Barbara Bush. On Wednesday, People published a report saying that the former First Lady, who passed away last week at the age of 92, so loved a bare bovine sculpture gifted to her by former President George H.W. Bush that it became her most prized possession.
According to People, George H.W. Bush decided to present his wife with the gift after seeing how much she loved the colorful cow statues that can be seen all over Houston, Texas. He reportedly enlisted his chief of staff, Jean Becker, to accompany him while he chose one, but in the end, he couldn't decide which one she'd like best. “So he bought a blank one,” Becker told People. “Mrs. Bush turned it into a family art project.”
Over the years, People reported, the once-blank cow has become covered in technicolor handprints from the couple's five children, 17 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. One handprint on the cow's rear is reportedly from former President George W. Bush, one source told the outlet. Today, the statue remains standing on the lawn of the Bushes' summer home on Walker's Point in Kennebunkport, Maine.
“That statue was Barbara’s prize possession,” Bonnie Steinroeder, the Bushes’ former Kennebunkport pastor, told People.
This isn't the only cow-friendly monument in Barbara Bush's memory. During the former First Lady's funeral service, KHOU 11 reported, her longtime friend Susan Baker delivered a eulogy, recounting the tale of one of Barbara's pen pals. According to KHOU 11, Baker said the former First Lady was friends with a young girl who named her heifer Barbara. The girl, who never got to meet Barbara Bush, later showed her cow at the Houston Livestock Show, where it won eighth place.
"'I was sorry for my little friend but slightly relieved,'" Baker said, quoting the former First Lady, according to KHOU 11. "'I'm not sure I could have stood the headlines Barbara Bush wins Houston Fat Stock show.'"