Sep 29, 2009

Rancher Scientists & Theoreticians Contemplate Metaphysical Possibilities Of A "One Cow Herd"

Stretching the very social and philosophical fabric of the Palouse itself, an esoteric team of local researchers is exploring the farthest reaches of the time tested and often-overused concept of 'the herd' and is attempting to expand the very frontiers of ranching and ranch life as we now know it. With recent discoveries related to DNA and the unlimited possibilities, both past and future, contained within the genetic make-up of any given cow, the question arises - do you indeed need more than one cow to make up a group, or herd, if you will - or does the DNA coding potential inherent in all cows make this distinction meaningless and outdated - a figment of our past where 'more meant better' in an absolute sense. "Oh, for Pete's sake! What in 'tarnation' are they talking about and why am I being forced to listen to this drivel?" bellowed Jed Bodine, 56, a local rancher, while glaring menacingly at his wife who dragged him to the 'intellectual event' to 'broaden his horizons a little'. "If you have one cow - that is called 'a cow'. If you have 2 cows that is called a 'couple of cows'. If you have 3-7 cows - that can be called 'several cows' or maybe a 'starter herd'. Any grouping of more than 7 cows can safely be called a dadburn herd!" he said, making way too many hand gestures to prove his point. "Now, granted, some people will argue over the actual size of a 'real herd' - or a 'worthy herd' - and general agreement seems to indicate that you cannot get a reserved pew in the local cow church unless you have over 500 head of cattle, but any grouping of over 7 cows is, by definition, a herd. End of subject!" he stammered. "How much do you want to bet our tax dollars are funding this nonsense? That money would be much better spent on farm subsidies where farmers get paid for not growing crops. At least that would do some good for society - in these parts, anyway!" he concluded indignantly, drawing enthusiastic 'head nods' from a knot of assembled farmers gathered close by! Thankfully, local sheep farmers feel no compunction to 'redefine' the ancient concept of 'the flock', and just hope that this is a relatively warm winter so the upcoming lambing season is productive and enjoyable to work in without all that snow and ice that makes it no fun to go outside and tend the sheep.

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