Once upon a time there lived a young boy. He was fearless and often foolish. Of course, he was only two years old, but that was beside the point.
One day the little boy, whom we shall call “Pickle” (pik-uh-l n. An affectionate term for a mildly mischievous loved one) , was with the farmer and his wife in the barn. The cows were happily being milked and the Pickle was content to run to-and-fro through the mangers.
He chased the puppy dog, chatted with the donkey, and stopped every now and then to yell, “Moooo!” at the cows.
Suddenly, the farmer’s wife came running through at a high gallop, scooped him up in her arms and deposited him in the pack-n-play.
Oh, how the Pickle moaned. Oh, how the Pickle groaned. What was the farmer’s wife thinking to do such a terrible thing?
After some thought, he decided to do what any pickle would do. He climbed out of the pack-n-play and went to investigate.
He crawled on his hands and knees through the manure and stuck his little head around the corner of the manger. There they were. The farmer and his wife. Carrying pitchforks and talking all syrupy to the big white cow standing in front of them.
How silly, the Pickle thought, to talk to a cow in English. Obviously, if one wants to speak to a cow, one must use cow-language. Standing to his feet, the Pickle called out a loud, deep, “MooooooOooooo!”
It may have worked, as the cow was quick to turn its head and start toward him, but we’ll never know for sure because that blasted farmer’s wife jumped over the tie-rail and scurried between Pickle and the cow and started yelling, waving her pitchfork hither and yon. Then, to make matters worse, she backed right up until she was beside Pickle, lifted him by the back of his jacket and dumped him directly into the pack-n-play.
Oh, how miserable he was. He flopped back and forth, smearing manure all over the place. And oh, how the farmer’s wife bellered. Not about the manure, it turned out, but about the cow. Or bull. Or whatever she called it.
That day the Pickle learned a few things. The farmer’s wife should be obeyed, for she carries a pitchfork and an impressive holler. And apparently, some cows are cows and some cows are bulls. Whatever that means.
Oh, and manure is actually kind of fun to crawl through. Who knew?
p.s. Dairy farming is not for the faint of heart.
We’re celebrating the upcoming release of my newest book,
The Thing About Dairy Farmers.
You can enter to win a pre-release ecopy by visiting the book page (just click here) and leaving a comment. (we’re giving away a copy every day this week!) In the meantime, if you enjoyed this story, consider telling a friend? There are buttons at the bottom of this post for easy sharing.