Franny, Spinster HQ’s yella lab, started barking her face off the way she usually does whenever there is a 2500 pound mammal on the porch, and sure enough. When I sidled over to the front door, there was no denying it: there was definitely a black Angus cow studying the doorknob.
Let it be known that Spinster HQ, a wholly meat-free enterprise, does not keep beef cattle on purpose. Hence my momentary surprise at seeing one on the stoop. The black Angus cow to whom I allude, along with what I would eventually discover were 7 of her cohorts, had broken through a fence, having found inhospitable the conditions on the other side, and had naturally gravitated to the food-filled, furry woodland creature-infested vegetarian oasis of fun that is the barnyard at El Rancho Deluxe.
I poked my head out the door, determined that this porch-sitting cow was but e pluribus unum, and forced myself to accept that, although I’d had big plans to biff around photographing Bewick’s wrens all afternoon, the day was shot. No two ways about it, I would have to devote the rest of my waking hours, until the cows came home, to getting those cows to go home.
Sure, cows are cute with their floppy ears and their placid cud-chewing, but they are the size of Volkswagens, and they destroy. Already I could detect a massive dumpage of cow shit, which smells frakkin awful, around and about the bunkhouse. My horses were flipping the fuck out because they are the sort of delicate Arabians who think cattle are venomous saber-toothed T. rexes. What little grass I had left after this insane drought was rapidly disappearing into the cows’ four stomachs (multiplied by 8 cows, and that’s 32 flippin’ stomachs!). And omigod, you wouldn’t believe the flies with which these miserable creatures were plagued, or the alacrity with which the flies saw fit to transfer themselves to my equine population. And to top it off one of the cows was displaying a disconcerting interest in the cee-ment pond. I thought, shit, I have no crane. How the fuck do you get a cow out of a pool without a crane?
Fortunately for spinster aunts who don’t keep cowboys and cutting horses on staff, cattle who haven’t seen green grass in six months will trot to the ends of the earth for a bag of cattle cubes. I sent my ranch hand Chuck to the feed store for a bag of same. Then I jumped in the back of the pickup with the cubes, exhorted Chuck to aim at the front gate at a slow but steady pace, and rattled the feed bag like mad. The cows heeded the siren call and followed the truck. In this manner we lured’em a mile up the road and turned’em loose on the range whence they came.
I mention all this because cattle are amiable, forbearing creatures with pleasant demeanors, trusting and easily fooled. It is unfair and mean to butcher them.
Don’t eat beef.
Although they will trample you if you get between them and a bag of cow cubes. Which are made from assorted chemicals. Franny ate a couple of’em and puked.