If there’s anything more pointless than a pleasure horse, I’d imagine it’s a pet cow. I seen a lot of cows in my time – wily cows, mean cows, timid cows, uppity cows that think they’re all that and a flake of alfalfa. I’ve moved them, sorted them, roped them, helped keep them tied down while the cowboys vaccinated ‘em and branded ‘em and doctored ‘em up. Horses have got to do what people say; cows have got to do what horses say. That’s how things work. I am told that cows are for eatin’, too, but I’ve bit a cow on occasion, and I hate to sound too judgmental, but I think the eatin’ part is overrated.
There’s a place a bit farther out on the county island where my gal takes me to live maybe once or twice a year when she takes a “vacation,” where all that the horses do is prance around in circles. And jump manmade jumpin’ fences inside the riding arena. My buddy Coors Light goes there every week in the big rolling white horse box. Coors Light tells me he’s a bonafide national champion in prancin’, and I think that’s the silliest made-up thing I ever heard. But that’s another story.
The prancin’ place has got a pet cow. She’s a black-and-white dairy cow, full-grown and full of attitude. They don’t milk her. They don’t even breed her to raise calves. I don’t think they’re fixin’ to eat her, either, but after this, they might. They just pet her and coo at her, and hand-feed her carrots that should be goin’ to hungry horses, not cows. She’s also got a sense of humor, which is never a good quality for a cow to have. She goes by the name of Moo, which works ‘cause all cows seem to know how to say is “moo.” They ain’t real big on conversation most of the time.
Coors Light told me he overheard that last week during the time of the hard rain and the possible tor-nado, Moo went mad.
The gal at the prancin’ place who teaches everybody how to prance started movin’ critters when the first rains came, so they wouldn’t get swept away by the big water. She wrangled up the goats, the pigs and the donkeys, some geese and a turkey, and I think some cats and dogs too, and put ‘em all to higher ground, under the roof of one of the barns or someplace. But she could not catch Moo.
A bit of a rodeo ensued. Moo led her on a muddy, mucky chase from one side of the ranch to the other, in the drivin’ rain. Every time she’d about get a hold of Moo’s lead rope, that mad cow would pull back and send her flyin’ through the mud. Moo even ran right into the round pen, and just as she was about to close the gate, Moo busted loose and nearly busted the prancin’ lady in the process. The smaller critters who were dry and happy in the barn were yellin’ words of encouragement to Moo the whole time, too, eggin’ her on. It got to be a battle of wills for the prancin’ lady. Eventually one of the other prancin’-horse gals showed up and blocked one of Moo’s further escape attempts with her actual car so that Moo was blocked and had no choice but to stay put. That cow’s too big and fat to jump a car, much less the moon. Then, between the two of ‘em, they heaved and hoed themselves through the rain, and dragged Moo into the barn, at last, right as the tor-nado swept over the ranch and knocked all the outside jumpin’ fences down.
Now, cows get wet all the damned time. Pardon my French. So if a cow don’t want to come in from the rain, you leave the cow out in the rain. Especially when you don’t have a ranch horse like myself to do a proper job of movin’ that cow. That’s the moral of the story, and a good moral to live your life by, too. Leave the damned cow out in the rain.