Life is good here at the CowChows. The necessities of life are bountiful.
I was out back a while ago just rocking on the porch and watching the rain fall. There’s nothing more peaceful than a rainy afternoon in the Ozarks. While I was sitting there soaking up the peace the cattle that are pastured behind our place came down for a drink from the creek. They come by a couple of times a day and sometimes they stop to say hello. This time they did.
I watched them file into view along the fence line, and one after the other they stopped and turned my way. Ocassionally, one would dip her head to the ground and come up chewing a mouthful of fresh, wet grass. I wondered what it must be like to live your life inside a fence, not able to come and go as you please. I wondered what it must be like to know nothing of the world beyond the borders of iron posts and steel wire that enclose you. I wondered if they even realized they were captives. As I sat there wondering these things I felt sorry for these poor simple creatures and I hoped they didn’t know what it meant to be free, for then they would know what they were missing.
One of the heifers looked around furtively, and then stuck her head over the fence and looked directly at me. She craned her neck as if she were gesturing me toward her. At first I thought nothing of it, but she kept making this gesturing motion until my curiosity overcame my desire to stay dry. I descended the steps and began slogging my way across the wet grass toward the fence. I was drenched through before I had taken a dozen steps, and all the while she was nodding to me as if to say, “Come on.”
As I neared the fence, feeling more than a little silly, she again looked furtively up and down the fence line. I reached my hand toward her to let her sniff it, and then gently stroked her forehead. “What is it, girl?” I whispered, “What do you want?”
She looked me directly in the eye and whispered back, “If you ever want us to bust you out of your pen you just say the word.” And then, she winked.