Jul 11, 2009

Local "Loner" Cow Feels Oppressed, Smothered By That Whole "Herd Concept"

A local cow, tag number 2146, just wants to be left the heck alone and to be able to 'do her own thing' in spite of belonging to a species that traditionally enjoys grouping together for protection as well as for the obvious social advantages of having dozens of similar creatures within mooing distance, insiders report. The cow, rejected by its mother as the 'weaker twin' several years ago, was bottle fed as a calf and thus developed behaviors and internal response patterns vastly different from the more "herd oriented' members of its social group. "Well, I guess we just spoiled the darn thing rotten" said Zeb Pinkerton, 63, a local rancher. "I remember going out by where the fence crosses the creek (pronounced 'crick') and hearing that little critter just bellowing to beat all. Her mother, tag number 1139, was lavishing attention on the stronger, healthier twin and could not be induced, under any circumstances, to care for the weaker, more sickly - and let's be honest, less-than-handsome calf - so I had to bundle the poor, still-wet thing up in my wife's new coat, threw it in the front seat of the truck and took it into the downstairs bathroom that my deadbeat brother-in-law uses where it would be warm and the kids could take turns bottle feeding it" he said. "How was I to know that this special treatment would go to the cow's head and that it would reject the very ingrained behavior patterns that make cattle so easy to control and manage?" he said despairingly. "I feel that if that darn cow would just give the herd a chance that she would see that hanging out, eating endlessly and just wandering around in a daze with the other cows can indeed be satisfying and really helps pass the time before she's shipped off to the meat processing plant down in Oregon. All we want is for her to be happy - but bucking the whole herd is just a recipe for misery and loneliness" he concluded sadly. "How do I get that thru her thick skull?"

"I think our big mistake was trying to be surrogate parents to the poor thing" said Mabel Pinkerton, 57 - the rancher's wife and notorious busybody/gossip/blabber-mouth of near biblical proportions. "When we put it in that downstairs bathroom, we figured that would be significantly similar to the 'barn concept' - given my live-in kid brother's almost shockingly bad bathroom habits, so we can't really blame it's rebellious nature on its environment, I don't think. She should have felt right at home!" she said sympathetically. "And for the first several months, the whole family ceased talking in the calf's presence and would just moo at each other - although we often had to accompany this 'cow friendly' communication protocol with a whole lot of arm and hand gesturing to get anything done - so its not like we humanized the calf in that way (sadly, during this stage actual intelligible family communication increased by 46% - husband-wife communication soared a whopping 126%!). Oh, I just don't know where we went wrong." she bellowed.

"That cow just has a mind of her own - which is less than advantageous when your entire existence hangs on the whims of a profession that values docility and ease of control above all other personality variables (in cows as well as in humans) " she sighed. "Thankfully, with beef prices (on the hoof) soaring and the payment coming due on that big family trip to "Dollywood" last year, it is only natural to downsize the herd somewhat and create a more homogeneous grouping without those troublesome outliers that can take up so much 'one-on-one' time and reduce the time available to watch 'Gunsmoke' reruns and set up elaborate 'cat-and-mouse' scenarios in order to reduce those pesky coyotes that are an unfortunate fixture of modern ranch life" she said sweetly. "But I do miss Tag Number 2146 laying on the rug at my feet, watching "Big Valley' with the family - those big cow-brown eyes glued to the screen - and those cute little ears perking up anytime some cow-related background noise came on the TV. And she was always so proud when one of those milk commercials came on - her rope-like tail would just thump on the floor to beat all I ever seen!. That doggone heifer was better than any dog we ever thought of having" she sobbed, storming out of the room before anyone saw her showing actual human emotion. "Oh, why is life so unfair? Why can't all living things be exactly the way we want them to be, when we want them to be? Why, why, why???" she ranted insanely, spittle flying haphazardly from her wildly undulating yet eerily bloodless lips.

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