In unexpected bovine news, a wandering band of rogue cows has been sighted in various areas around Murrysville, PA, over the last few weeks. No farmer has come forward to admit his cows have become vagrants. Whether this means he hasn’t noticed, or he just never developed a deep relationship with his cows, is open to interpretation. Speculation is rampant as to their origin, including the possibility of aliens, at least in some circles (crop circles, I suppose). Aliens, as everyone knows, love to abduct cows. So maybe some poor, confused aliens returned the cows to the wrong coordinates.
Let me first admit that I know almost nothing about livestock. The local newspaper published photos of the cows, from which I have shrewdly deduced they are black. Therefore, I might jump to the conclusion they are of the Black Angus denomination, but I don’t really know that. It may be that not all black cows are Angus. It may be that they’re not Scottish at all – as far as I know, they haven’t played any golf in their travels, or even shown up on a putting green. I don’t know that all Angus are black, either. There might be white Angus or tan Angus or mottled Angus or salted caramel Angus, or other colors and flavors that I’m not aware of – grillmasters can chime in here.
Mrs. Zone and I often see various cows in local pastures as we drive through the countryside. They seem to be content regardless of the conditions. Maybe they’re contented Carnation cows, giving contented canned milk. They’re out in the rain or snow. Wouldn’t that be annoying to get all that cow fur wet? Which brings up several questions: Do cows have fur or hair? Do wet cows smell as bad as wet dogs? Are they all cows, or are some bulls? And what about steers – maybe they’re really steers. Of course, the gender question could be quickly answered in an udderly simple way, but driving past at 50 mph makes that problematic.
When I was a young boy, we lived for a time “out in the country,” as we called it, although I’m primarily a city slicker, minus the slickness. There was a lone bull kept in a fenced pasture near our property, and I was incessantly warned to steer clear, so to speak. The only bulls I was aware of were the fighting-in-a-bullring type, and I didn’t want to have anything to do with that kind of varmint, so I stayed a respectable distance from him – about a quarter of a mile, I think. But was he being unfairly maligned? Was he really mean? Are all bulls aggressive? Maybe if I had walked up to him and scratched him behind his ear, he would have loved it, and affectionately rubbed against me. Like Androcles and the lion, maybe I would have made a lifelong friend. It’s also possible, of course, that for me, “lifelong” would have amounted to another ten seconds.
This leads to another puzzle: are the cows I usually see dairy cows, or beef cows? Can you tell by looking? Can THEY tell by looking? Does one feel superior to the other, and bully (HAHAHA) them? Do they have a choice? Maybe some cows are born as one or the other, but feel, for example, they’re a beef cow trapped inside a dairy cow body. Can they switch, and transfer to a new herd? Are cows socially progressive? Does an old dairy cow end life as a beef cow? Do they have a retirement plan? I ponder such deep cattle questions. And anyone who knows me knows I love nothing better than pondering.
I also have noticed that cows are often outside as darkness approaches – don’t they want to get home before dark? I mean, mosquitos, bats, and rabid racoons are coming out. Surely they realize they’d be better off in their barn or cow coop or whatever type of domicile they have.
And if nothing else, they should be worried about getting mugged by that wandering gang of possibly Black Angus cows.