By Baxter Black
If God intended cows to swim, he’d give them all flippers.
You rarely see a mermaid calf or Holstein skinny dippers.
But in their battle to survive, I’ve seen cows come unraveled, and to escape the cowboy’s loop they will choose the path less traveled.
Now Randy wasn’t brilliant, but he was a heavy breather, which helps when chasin’ wild cows who aren’t that brilliant either! To try and even up the odds, he called his neighbor Steven; one cow versus two cowboys intellectually’s ’bout even.
The cow in question spotted them, stuck her tail in the air and lit out for the tank dam in the pasture yonder there. Randy fell in hot pursuit whilst shakin’ a big loop out. He knew he had to catch her quick or his horse and him would poop out.
She led him around the tank dam, circumnavigating right, so Steve came ’round the other way to cut her off in flight. Please picture, if you will, the scene: two jousting knights converging, a loco’d cow between the two, collision courses merging.
She hit the bank, took one big leap and dove in like a porpoise. The last thing our two cowboys saw was a disappearing orifice.
She swam out to the middle where her feet could still touch bottom, submerged there in the water looking vaguely hippopottom.
“We’ve got her now!” cried Randy as he bailed off his hoss and jumped into a rowboat that was tethered in the moss. He paddled like a maniac using sailor words he knew and wore the oar down to a nub while the air was turning blue!
“That face could launch a thousand chips,” thought Steve, to put it mildly, as Randy rowed off toward the cow who watched him crocodilely.
He roped her off the starboard and half-hitched her to the bowsprit but … she breeched just like a marlin and covered him with bovine particulate matter. Randy planned to tow her backwards but her feet dug in the seafloor and pulled him clear across the pond and out upon the lee shore.
“Abandon ship you lunatic!” Steve yelled above the racket. “I can’t!” he cried. “I left my life vest in my other jacket!”
The hull was flyin’ all apart, it swang and swerved Nas-Carly. It looked just like a trash can bein’ drug behind a Harley! Great big pieces crashed and cratered, scaring fish and water fowl. Seals barked, catfish mewed, I even heard an otter growl. But … he hung on there behind the cow despite the flying shrapnel, no doubt to go down with his ship like any good ship cap’n’l.
Long story short, Steve’s horse rebelled and dumped him where it’s stickery. He watched the cow and rowboat disappearing in the hickory, with Randy still connected like the tail of a comet, most probably feeling seasick but without the time to throw up.
In time, Steve got back on the trail and came upon the shipwreck. A pasty, green unsightly mess now speckled the cow chip deck. A piece of keel between two trees had snagged them like an anchor. It stopped them like a hangman’s rope, capsized the ship and sank ’er. The cow had Randy up a tree, up there in all his glory. She butted up against the trunk and marked her territory.
“Pretty scary,” offered Steve. “I’m surprised you wasn’t drownded.” “That cow just plain outfoxed me,” muttered Randy, then expounded.
“But … I’ve learned myself a lesson, a basic rule refresher, that cow, the boat, and me can’t hold our water under pressure!”
Baxter Black is a self-described cowboy poet, ex-veterinarian and sorry team roper. He can be contacted at 1-800-654-2550 or by e-mail at: