When Justin Henderson lost his wallet on his farm in the US last summer, the prospects of finding it seemed about the same as looking for a needle in a haystack.
The straw, with his wallet bound up somewhere inside, was sold to ACX Pacific, a company that exports hay from central Washington to Japan.
That’s where it was found by one of Megumi Ohshida’s dairy cows.
“Please do not be surprised that one of our cows lapped up a strange thing from the hay that was imported from the USA,” Mr Ohshida wrote last month from Iwate in the province of Tohoku in northern Japan.
“And that strange thing was your purse.
“The purse has travelled a very long way over Pacific Ocean and was found by a mother cow. I believe that the purse is a very lucky one.
“So I decided to send it back to the owner.”
It had been just over a year since Justin lost the wallet, which still had his driver’s licence and cash inside when it was returned.
“I lost it while I was fluffing hay for my uncle,” said Justin, 18, of Ellensburg, Washington. “We looked for it, but we ended up just baling the hay before we could find it.”
The cow tasted the wallet, but apparently didn’t have a yen for it. The only evidence of the wallet’s travels was a little clip off the corner where the cow had chewed it, Justin said.