It’s the Pitts: From a Cow’s Perspective
By Lee Pitts
I’ll never understand the bovine brain.
For example, cattle are absolutely afraid of a man on foot. At first sight of a human, they will bound through the grass like a scared jackrabbit. And yet, put the same person on a horse, and cattle are ready to make a person part of their family.
Why is a man on foot seen as dangerous to a cow, but a man on horseback is less of a threat than a heel fly?
I guess we just have to think like a cow.
Here is how a cow and her steer calf probably viewed a recent episode involving my wife and I.
“Uh, oh,” said the steer to his momma. “Here comes a cowboy, and he’s swinging a long loop.”
“Don’t be stupid my sterile steer. Even if he does manage to rope one of us, what’s he gonna tie to? And look closely – you’ll see he’s already hurting from those new cowboy boots he’s wearing,” replied the cow.
“Wanna really have some fun child? Let’s run him over the rocks and through the brush a few times, and it won’t take a half hour before he’s hurting from some nasty blisters,” she continued. “Oh watch – I really like this part. Now he’s getting in the pickup with his wife, and they are going to try to herd us with the truck.”
“Shouldn’t we run momma?” asked the trembling steer.
“Oh no, this never works. You can’t herd cattle with a truck. They have too big of a turning radius. I remember last year your half-brother and I ran them in circles so much the truck blew a transmission, and the cowboy and his wife yelled and cussed at each other so much they didn’t speak afterwards for three months,” said the cow to her calf.
“Rumor has it down at the water trough, that episode darned near ended in divorce,” she added. “I’ll tell you what, let’s both run for the hidden gully as fast as we can.”
“But won’t the cowboy and his wife bounce up and hit their heads on the roof of the truck when they crash through the gully?” the calf asked.
“Now you’re thinking, my child,” said the cow.
“But what if they trap us?” asked the calf.
“Are you kidding? Have you taken a good look at these fences lately? Son, you can walk through them like they’re cobwebs. Now let’s go,” the cow replied.
“Boy, that was fun,” said the puffing steer after leading the truck around in circles. “But I think we are done for now. The cowboy is going to fetch his horse.”
“Don’t be silly son,” said the cow. “On a horse, he’s no threat at all.”
“But momma, he’s swinging another rope and getting too close for comfort,” said the steer while preparing to run.
“No big deal. I’ve seen this guy try to rope before. He couldn’t rope a fence post from three feet away. The rope is just for looks,” she said. “I’ll tell you what – let’s really have some fun. When the cowboy gets fairly close and thinks he has got us in his sights, you run one way and I’ll run the other. Here they come. Ready? Let’s go.”
“Momma, I don’t think I’ve never had this much fun in my life,” said the steer after running the cowboy’s horse ragged for an hour. “But, I’ve never heard such cussing in all my life. Maybe we should let the cowboy and his horse rest. The horse is shaking like a willow, and the cowboy looks like he might have a heart attack.”
“No such luck my child,” said the cow.
“Why didn’t the cowboy just get his horse in the first place momma?” asked the calf.
“Because lazy cowboys always think it’s too much trouble to go and catch a horse, saddle him and then ride out here just to doctor a cow or her calf. To gather cattle, son, one has to think like a cow, and for most cowboys, this means they really have to put their thinking caps on,” replied the cow.
“This has been a good lesson for you, son,” she added. “You have just discovered the most undeveloped territory in the world – the space underneath a drugstore cowboy’s hat.”