Day of the Cow

Today I spent hours looking at newspaper articles concerning cows. Why, you ask? If you ever run a streak of finding fascinating stories about cows, never question it. The internet gods are fickle creatures. Any such squirming and they will most certainly give your old relatives and annoying friends more memes to distribute. You have been warned.

The story that started the search was from 1956 in Swansea, Wales. As most of you know, Wales is a place that only exists in the minds of people of London and, even then, just as a placeholder for a very far away place. “If I have to lose my job, I’m going to have to move to Wales to afford the rent!” Interestingly, this is concept of Wales is where the Prince of Wales title comes in. Kings are very cognizant that they are most likely to be killed by the next in line so “The Prince of Wales” means get this guy as far away from me as possible.

Anyway, this story is about a cow who found herself sixty feet up a tower at an airfield. Once there the cow refused to leave until a local lad milked her and talked nice.

Choose your own follow up comment:

A) Those of you smirking to yourself thinking “I’ve been on a couple dates like that!” should feel bad. Very bad. Tut and another tut.

B) Stories like this are often made about people from rural areas but normally they’re not about cows but about amorousness toward sheep.

The problem with this story is that there is no local story to be found. Oh, I can find numerous reprints of this original New York Times article in other papers all around North America, but no story in the U.K. So what does that mean? As we know that Wales doesn’t exist, this lack of local corroboration is just more evidence. The English lied to our intrepid Times reporters. Good reporters with sound hearts, they believe things easily. We’re on to you, Britain… if that’s your real name.

This lack of ideal journalistic rigor also might explain our next story:

The best question that comes from this story is how did this get past an editor? How has knowing that cows like a good breeze in their nether-regions helped crashing pilots? “If you feel everything going sideways up there, remember, wind up your ass, safe in grass.” Would not any sentient being when presented with such assertions ask a follow up? Would not even the most slow-witted among us at least utter an “huh?” before wildly stumbling into traffic to post their story?

Dear reader, no. Obviously, no.

Which leads us to my final cow tale of the day. Up to this point, we have had very straight-forward–if odd–tales. This one has many twists and turns for a cow story. It is the Russian novel of cow stories run through the filter of the modern blockbuster movie. Sad twists, terrible turns, inevitable death and all of it preposterous.

Our story starts with a young lady named named Gwendolyn who has a calf who she named after herself. You know, like you do. Perfectly normal. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Eventually Gwendolyn became too large (Referring to the calf; we have no such information on the lass.) and Pa decides it is time for the butcher. The butcher’s boy shows up and this is where our story goes awry.

Gwendolyn the Human is very sad to see Gwendolyn the Calf go, so much so that even the butcher’s boy caught up in her show of grief. There they are, two of them wailing to the heavens, cursing the cruel fate awaiting all creatures in this fallen world. This is when Gwendolyn the Calf finds her first clue that something is terribly, terribly wrong.

Now, I’m sure Gwendolyn the Calf was no more brilliant than one could expect of her species so I assign her no supernatural understanding. However I believe, and I think that this story will show, when given enough warning, even the most simple creature understands when the knives are coming out.

The butcher’s boy leads the cow away from the tearful goodbye and, though acting a tad odd, Gwendolyn the Calf follows. However, coming upon the sight of the slaughterhouse causes her cooperation to cease and the precession came to a halt. Gwendolyn the Calf processed all of this new information, formed a plan, and chased the butcher’s boy with malicious intent until he found refuge in a nearby tree. Another person wandered in and tried to deal with the Calf but he too was treed.

Now comes the hero to our tale. (Is he really the villian?) Zack comes armed with a rake and Gwendolyn the Calf runs him away as she had done to her first two combatants. Zack is up to this challenge and runs to inform the whole town of the situation and call for reinforcements. In a moment the entire town comes running.

Gwendolyn the Calf sees everyone coming, barks like a dog, flips her tail like a lion–all in the article so you know it is true–and chases every last one of them over fences and up trees. They are all aghast. Is this not the lovely calf Gwendolyn the Human raised and we all admired and petted?

It is at this point you can understand Gwendolyn the Calf’s barking. Your whole life these very same people interacted with you and you were kind and calm. You enjoyed their attention and honestly took their actions as ones of pure, wholesome affection. Now here they all are trying to get you to the slaughter house. I’ve never had any right to be this mad myself but, if I were so pushed, I could fully grasp the need for barking.

Zack the villainous hero realizes the gravity of the situation and goes home for a shotgun. He returns and shoots Gwendolyn the Calf, the wound doing nothing more than angering her. Our Calf is a stout creature, bent on her survival against great odds. That said, so is Zack and he aims and fires again and our sweet Calf is downed.

Is she out? Done? Removed from play? KAPUT!?!?! Dear reader, no, she is not.

The crowd gathers close to see the corpse of the mad Calf. They point and jaw and mutter, jostling like pigeons around breadcrumbs, all to get a better view. And this is when Gwendolyn the Calf bolts upright and starts her chase anew. The townsfolk who knew her, who were so kind, who turned on her, all trying to lead her to her doom, scatter over the now familiar fences and up the recently populated trees.

Zack once again raises his weapon and this time his violence is conclusive. Gwendolyn the Calf, once so loved, so docile, so true, is dead.

What are we to take from this story? It starts with a little girl so narcissistic that she names her pet after herself–that is definitely a bit of foreshadowing. Add in the townsfolk who could spend years being nice and, turning on a dime, rush in with deadly intent. Then there is the relentless, unceasing, ever-growing violence that is Zack.

What you are to take away is that it is all made up. If you search for any of the named people, you just find this article from 1905. No obituary, advertisements, other stories. Nothing. This makes me mad. If this is to be the simulation in which I am trapped, could they not have fleshed out the stories a bit better? Everything is dumb.