Angry Cow! (video)

 

I never saw a Purple Cow,

I never hope to see one,

But I can tell you, anyhow,

I’d rather see than be one!

 

Most people have a favorable view of cows. We make light of them in poetry, as in the famous “Purple Cow” poem. We even joke about them.

I remember my father telling me, “Terry, you haven’t finished your milk. We can’t put it back in the cow, you know.”

In 1985, I became a Pearce Corps Volunteer in Honduras and that forever changed my point of view of the seemingly humble cow.

My assignment in the Peace Corps was to work with small farmers (5’ 5” tall or shorter) in a small village in northern Honduras. The crops they grew were corn and beans.

My work routine in Honduras consisted of getting up early in the morning, with the chickens, and walk out to farms to collaborate with the farmers. I had to cross the river to reach the fields. There was a large tree trunk laying across the river that served as a bridge.

On either side of the road was tall grass infested with voracious, industrial sized insects that were ready to suck the blood out of my body.

I walked my usual route out of the village. As I approached the river, I hear screaming and shouting up ahead. Then 4 or 5 people from the village were running back towards me shouting “vaca loca” “vaca loca.” “Correle.” “Crazy cow. Crazy cow. Run away.”

One man told me “Mr. Terry, you cannot cross the river today. There is a cow blocking the road.”

I said, “I’ll take care of that cow. I will just shoo him away.”

“Mr. Terry, for the sake of the entire village do not anger the cow.”

“Pfffft! Have no fear, Terry is here.”

I boldly march over to the river. I turn the corner around some trees and my eyes locked on an enormous Arnold Schwatzenegger-sized cow. As big as a house. He had enormous horns. He scraped the ground with his massive hoof! Steam came out of his nostrils as breathes.

I looked into the eyes of the cow and we had a “mind meld.” I could feel his fury and his desire to flip me like a pancake if I tried to cross that stream.

Immediately, my family jewels rose up to my Adam’s apple and my ignorant bravado about ‘shooing’ away the cow, gave way to a feeling of stark raving terror. I stood there trying not to look too horrified. I inched my way back to the villagers.

“Did you shoo the cow away, Mr. Terry?” one villager asked.

“No. for the good of the village, I have revised my plan. Now, I think we need to just give the cow his personal space,”

Just then the cow came around the corner moving towards us. “AAgggh!” we screamed in unison.

The villagers bolted back to the village so fast that they left a vapor trail.

I jumped over a fence on the side of the road, still thinking I had to see the farmers, and I walked through the insect infected plants. The voracious bugs feasted on my body like a ravished high school football team at an all-you-can-eat Pizza Hut buffet.

I knew these were tough mosquitoes. When I slapped them, they slapped me back.

I managed to circle around behind the cow and limped out to see the farmers.

Later, when I dragged myself back home. The last few feet I was actually crawling back into my house.

Long after I returned home to the United States, I still harbored a fear of cows. Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat. How long will I have these horrible memories? Yes, you guessed it, until the cows come home.

Upcoming Pesentations:

October 20, 2018. How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds and Funny Bones. Prescott Valley Public Library (7401 E. Civic Circle), 1:00 – 2:00 pm. Prescott, AZ.

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