Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No Bovine Shall be Permitted Without These Conditions Being Met.

Painting by Mark Tansey
The FarmWife thinks she would like a cow or a steer. The FarmHusband thinks he would like a cow or a steer. Neither of them thinks that now, when vet bills are mounting high and schedules are already overfilled, is a good time for a cow or a steer. This is good, because I, Fenway Bartholomule, have some conditions that must be met before I will accept said cow or steer into my heart and home. 

1) This cow or steer must not be allowed to defile my shed with his or her watery poops. The stools of a bovine are too much to bear. We must have a three-stall barn: one for me, one for the goats, and one for the  cow or steer and his or her watery poops. 

2) This cow or steer must humble him or herself to work. I am Fenway, Fine Harness Mule. In our future, perfect world, I shall pull our future, perfect carriage and the bovine shall pull logs out of our future, perfect woodlot.

3) This cow or steer must not eat alfalfa in my presence. He or she shall have no food more delicious than my own. It is already a humiliation that the dairy goat gets grain and I do not.

4) This cow or steer must vow never to gore me upon his or her horns, should he or she be in possession of such.

5) This cow or steer must submit to being directed hither and thither by me, Fenway Bartholomule. My proud quarter-horse ancestry reveals itself in my ambition to drive bovines this way and that, this way and that. What fun it will be!

6) This cow or steer must vow never to salivate upon me with his or her excessively moist and flexible tongue, nor to lay upon me any moisture produced near, on, or by his or her excessively moist nose. Nor shall she or he be permitted to place his or her excessively moist and flexible tongue into or upon his or her excessively moist nostrils in the presence of me, Fenway Bartholomule.

Now, we must await a) the readyness of the humans—of their budgets and schedules; b) the construction of a barn; c) the acquisition of additional pasture and/or a woodlot; d) the signing of a contract, by said bovine, that lays out these conditions detailed above. The bovine, lacking opposable thumbs, may use his or her flexible tongue to sign said document.

Ears to you, and ears to the bovines of the world.



  1. I quite agree with Fenway and offer this from personal experience. If you have nice fences and nice property and are justifiably proud of your farmkeeping skills, that pride will be outraged on a daily (hourly!) basis if you have a cow or more than one cow (shudder). I had cows for too many years to ever EVER want to do that again. I had beef cattle, I had a milk cow. You will not ever in any other way experience the level of flies, stink, fence destruction, pasture surface destruction, barn destruction, human foot destruction (even in boots), etc., etc., ad nauseum. I offer this: admire their lovely soft eyes and gentle moos from afar, brush them, give them treats, etc. but all on "visitation" basis. You WILL rue the day you acquire a bovine resident of your lovely farm! I beg of you to please reconsider and leave the cow husbandry to others, others with already mud- and hole-filled bogs for pastures, tattered barbwire fences and barns with wall holes - for all ALL of those are a mere sampling of how a cow will treat your wonderful home! Gratitude they have not. Surely "mess" is part of their genes, heredity and even likely their extended Latin species name!

  2. Fenway-

    Perhaps if you could create / fabricate issues of a veterinary nature therby keeping the vet budget high... vague intermittent lameness comes to mind... the arrival of the bovine with watery poops, excessive salivation and possible horns might never happen.

    I'm just sayin' :)


Thanks in Advance for Your Mulish Opinion!