Wednesday, February 15, 2012

If You Give a Cow A . . .

I'm not sure how much time you've spent with cows, but they're pretty friendly.

Not the brightest bulbs out there, but still, more willing to give you the time of day than say, a squirrel or a [redacted].* It turns out that I will be seeing a lot more of cows than before, because our new house has several hundred feet of quality cow frontage. In fact, the cows closest to our house are not just cows, but super-friendly 4H cows with large and liquid eyes, grubby halters trailing leads, and bewildered but pleasant expressions.

*joke redacted here because it is Wednesday and I have already gotten more hate mail than I want to deal with.

Anyway, after closing on our First!Ever!House! on Friday (that sounds an awful lot like grown-up business, by the way, that verb -- "closing." It's like the phrase "mutual fund." Whenever I hear myself say one or the other, I check the mirror for signs of gray hair or the gleaming reflection of a staid silver Mercedes sedan)(just like Edward Cullen!),** I journeyed out to the Future House of Stiefvater with Lover to prance around and celebrate the largest and most brick thing we'd ever bought. After the obligatory standing in the halls and testing the echo-power of a house with no rugs or window treatments or furniture, we all trailed outside to look at the cows.

**Who am I kidding? I'm going to get hate mail anyway. First from people with gray hair, and then from a Cullen. Possibly also from Mercedes.

With uncertain but inevitable amiability, the cows — more like calves, these were definitely YA cows — wandered up to the fence. On previous occasions seeing The Future House of Stiefvater, we had coaxed them into being scratched. Things 1 and 2 had also allowed themselves to be licked. I don't know if you've seen a cow tongue, but I would like you to appreciate the intestinal fortitude of my children. I always felt a little bad that I had nothing to offer to YA calves in return, however. If they'd been dogs, I would've given them a biscuit. But they were cows. We had no biscuits, and anyway, what do you give as a treat to an animal that has four stomachs (well, four chambers in their stomachs, if you want to be technical)? I scrounged around in our vehicle and found a bag containing eight sweet potato chips.

I became filled with a burning desire to find out what happened when you combined cows and sweet potato chips.***

***Add an angry email from PETA and the American Angus Association to the ones already mentioned in this post.

I proffered the first chip. YA Calf #1 was very pleased with the offering, and despite the fact that YA Calf #1, like all cows, had no teeth on top, the chip seemed to go down just fine.****

****Yes, that's right. I was told this fact about toothlessness by the previous homeowner, and a bit of Googling bore this out. It's hard to imagine, though. Can you imagine us without teeth on top?*****

*****I am seriously regretting photo-shopping that photo of Julia Roberts to include a toothless upper maw, because I will now be having nightmares about that for a week.

This made YA Calf #2 eager to have a taste, but YA Calves #1 and #3 were in his way. What was a curious cow to do? Extend its blue tongue fourteen feet over the heads of the others, of course.


Okay, it wasn't really fourteen feet. But it was about twelve inches. And blue. And sticky. The tongue merely touched the chip and then withdrew back into the mouth, like a frog catching flies. Delighted both by the cow's evident enjoyment and the realization I still had my hand, I fed two more of the chips to YA Calves #3 and #4, respectively. I was certain that we'd become firm friends and that later, when cows had taken over the earth, they would remember me and spare both my family and my Camaro. It was a realization I pondered again and again after returning to the weekend rental cabin to play approximately 17 games of pool. I considered the day a rousing success.

Later, Lover fed YA Calf #1 the remaining four chips, which made YA Calf #1 emit one dry cough. So, basically you can send any angry e-mails about inappropriate cow feeding to him, not me. I have since googled and found that the following make good cow treats:


Admittedly, maybe not fried. But just in case you are planning on going forth and befriending any of our future bovine overlords (I might be channeling Gary Larson here), you're now equipped with 100% more knowledge than I had when I started out.
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