December 2013: Holy cow!

By November 26, 2013Barb Cohea, Senior Moments


Remember that John Denver song, “Thank God, I’m a Country Boy,” about a fellow who thinks, “life on the farm is kinda laid back.” He’s wrong. I ought to know; I’ve been living on a farm for the past three months and I’ve learned a lot.

First, farmers get up BEFORE dawn. Why? I do not know because I can’t see a darn thing due to the “nots.” A: the sun is NOT up. B: my friends’ farm is NOT lit up like the perimeter of a prison’s concertinaed wire fence. And C: I am NOT getting out of bed to figure it out.

Last Monday, I woke up at my little farm shanty, south of the main house, to find I had broken out in cows overnight. Like a plague they were everywhere, in my yard, at my front door, and most unnerving, outside my windows staring in. On account of the portable fencing which turned my yard into a pasture, all of us were imprisoned behind it together. I could jump the short fence, and it would have been nice to know it was electrified before I tried it. However, my car was trapped with me and the cows, so I wasn’t going anywhere.

If you’re fenced in with cows long enough, you begin to notice things. One is that cows do not moo like in the movies or stories where it says stuff like “Bessie moo’ed.” Cows “maw.” Moo, no; maw, yes. They also rumble, which is unsettling because it sounds a great deal like growling. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hear anything the size of a Mini-Cooper growling. They chew endlessly. Frankly, if I ate what they do, so would I, but this explains the huge toaster-oven-sized jaw muscles.

Cows are like gangs. You can’t miss them when they’re coming. They maw and growl the whole way, ergo, they never sneak up on anyone. They leave a mess behind them, literally, and the staring thing is intimidating. Who stares like that? High school students, in class, at the teacher, that’s who!

There is no private life of the cow, because of the whole gang thing. And you would think, since they do everything in the open, they would not be so confused when it comes to matters of the heart. I can’t tell you how many boy-cows of the non-bull variety I watched having unrequited amorous relations with girl-cows. I started to feel bad for the fellas. Always remember that cows are four-legged creatures, therefore it ain’t easy to heft 700 pounds of beef onto two legs with the front legs waving in the air while the back legs do the walking and the girl-cow is calmly leaving the area. Like the brontosaurus in “Jurassic Park I,” up they go, down they crash and the earth trembles.

The strangest was a boy-cow who brazenly attempted to have carnal knowledge of a girl-cow’s head. It’s hard enough getting on a girl-cow’s back much less her head. Cows are not that good at backing up, so “Bessie” just kept moving her head around. She stared, a lot, with a “what the …. get off my head!” look on her face. Finally, she freed them both using a classic pro-wrestling maneuver. The Rock used it frequently; pick up your adversary and fling him over the ropes.

The cattle are leaving tomorrow. The sheep are coming next. I cannot wait. Break out the popcorn and sit on the porch.



Cohea can be reached at