When at college in Boston, many moons ago, other kids would ask me: ‘So, you’re from Kansas? What’s it like to tip a cow?’ And I’d say: ‘I was born in Kansas City, Missouri. I grew up in the Suburbs. We rode our bikes to the Seven Eleven and bought Zots and Pixie Sticks and drank Big Gulps for breakfast on weekends. Tipping cows is kinda outside of my experience, ok?’
But what I didn’t admit, back then, was that I’ve always had a fascination with cows. Especially the Holstein variety. It’s the black and white, Franz Kline-action that’s always tickled me.
So, Cabot (my beau and Theodore’s favorite male human) and I went on a Cow-Shooting (that’s shooting with a Canon, my friends, not a Ruger or a Smith and Wesson) expedition.Our quarry was across the field and down the hill and there were at least a dozen of the cud chewers milling about. Our mission: to get a minimum of one photo where a cow’s nose filled the frame. Sounds pretty easy, right?
We reached the edge of the field, where our neighbor’s electrified fence encircles the field. Cabot’s an eighth generation Vermonter, by the way, so I was happy to follow his lead. He tied Theodore to a makeshift hitching post and lifted the fence line up with it’s special plastic handle, and we stepped down into the field below.
Cabot put his hands together to form a hand-horn: ‘Hey Boss! Come on Boss!’
I gotta tell you, I thought cows were called ‘Sooey’. As in ‘Sooooeeeeyyy!!!!’ With a lovely little up-inflection at the end. This is what I’d seen in the movies. I don’t know which movies, but you get my point.
But, Cabot grew up in these parts, so I just watched him with amusement. And it seemed the cows were, too.
We advanced slowly, and in the distance, I could see the big bull, his horns prominently displayed, giving us the hairy eyeball. He seemed to be saying: ‘Watch your step, people. If our cow pies don’t get you, I will.’
Behind us, Theo was barking up a storm. Not his deep, masculine bark. The one that sounds like a wounded bird. ‘What’s wrong with you people? There are cows to chase! Let me go!’
We crept along the grass, moving slowly. Camera at the ready. More barking in the distance. And then, in a flash, all the cows turned to face the far hill and the bull herded them up and away out of sight.
These photos are PITIFUL.
You can see how far away we are. I’d say our mission should be coded as FAILED. Though Cabot did step in a cowpie. Maybe the chuckle I got out of that was worth it all.
We took a walk back through town, and the boys decided to survey the scene from the Church on the Hill and leave the cows to their business. They look great together, don’t they?