Memory Lane: I Talk to the Cows

Trio of three black and white cows looking over a stone wall on Terceira  Island, Azores Stock Photo - Alamy

Something stirred one of my very earliest memories.

My parents went away for a weekend and took me with them. I was either four or five years old. My brother was still a baby, so let’s say four.

We went to what I guess now was a rented house somewhere in North Jersey or upstate New York, in farming country. I don’t know what my parents did all day; but there was a stone wall in the back yard and I sat on it, playing with my toy horsies and making up adventures for them…

And explaining it all to the cows!

See, I wasn’t lonely because on the other side of the wall was a pasture and I had company the whole time I was there–three cows who hung out with me. I petted them. I told them all about my toys. I told them little stories I made up (my father, my grammie, and my aunts told me stories all the time, and I imitated them). They were the nicest cows you could imagine–although I don’t know, maybe most cows are like that. Suburban kids don’t get a lot of experience with cows.

But that little bit of experience I had, I treasure.

I hope I meet those cows again someday. We have a lot of catching up to do.

8 comments on “Memory Lane: I Talk to the Cows

  1. I live just far enough out in the country that I get to meet a lot of animals. I always greet them and receive lots of replies, when I do. One person, has quite a number of goats, and when I ride my bike past there, I always say “hello goats”. I’ll get several replies, on a good day.

    I think of it like this, for domestic animals, one day is pretty much the same as the next, so by giving them even a moment’s attention, I may be giving them something to break up their day, and make life a bit more interesting, and you never know when something nice might happen, like the young goat that licked my had a few days ago, or the time I picked some grass and fed it to a very grateful miniature horse.

  2. You talked with the cows. Here in the Philippines, one time I tried to talk with turkeys. Here is my experience.

    Our church congregation had an overnight stay at a beach resort, it wasn’t unusual to find two extra-large tom turkeys roaming freely around the grounds. I found out that if you made a gobble call the turkeys would answer back with a gobble. After we exchanged greetings several times, they started to make their way toward me, in what I perceived to be a hostile manner. From the way they moved, and the look in their eyes, I knew they had malice in their hearts toward me. I guess they misunderstood my friendly gobble greeting. Yeah, I could tell things were not as pleasant between us as I first thought, for they started to move hastily, in a zigzag pattern toward me. Their feathers were flared-out and their raised heads were bobbing aggressively as they advanced upon my position. As I backed away, I kicked at both of them to stop their progress, but it didn’t help, and one ostrich-sized fowl flapped its wings and flew at me. Its clawed feet were aimed directly at my chest. This must have been a Ninja-trained turkey, for its two-legged flying drop-kick almost got me! It was so large, as it flew towards me all I saw were feathers and clawed feet, its bulk blocked out the sight of everything else. As that one landed, the other got ready to try its flying two-legged kick. I saw my chance; I ran to find something to fend off the Birdzillas. Why can’t you find your ax when you need it most? If I had found an ax, I would not have let a “Presidential Turkey Pardon” stop me from having turkey for dinner. I found a broom and jabbed at them and swung it all around until they slowly backed off and left. Kevin Costner danced with wolves; I danced with turkeys. I now have a little more respect for those fowls.

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