Grit Blogs > Cow Pie Kid

Cow Pie Kid: Where Did That Come From?

Robert PekelThe “Cow Pie Kid” is an alias from a Canadian adventure. In my younger days, I traveled about, not unlike many other of that era. I made dear friends with a couple of fellas from the big city of Toronto. We shared more than one rousing adventure crisscrossing Canada without a dime in our pockets.

Canada was a friendly country for travelers without much money. Hostels offered a bed to sleep in, and usually a simple supper with a light breakfast for the sum of only about a dollar. If one was willing to help with the chores, it was free.

My fondest memory of that time is hitching a ride on a freight train through the vast prairies and pristine forests of western Canada. Enchanted by the scenery, we were speechless until my companion broke the silence by saying, “I wonder what the poor people do?”

Anyway, my big city amigos equated my Dairy State roots to many cows, which they alertly translated into mucho manure and cleverly dubbed me the “Cow Pie Kid.” The name stuck (pun intended) in the back of my mind. It has a down-to-earth quality. Not only did the name stick, but also my love for the land.

Today homesteading offers me the ability to control the basic needs. Harvesting the rain for water, raising chickens for eggs and meat, composting to rebuild the soil, and growing clean, healthy food. I find the independence that is born from self-reliance as enchanting as the Canadian Rockies.

Yes, sometimes I still wonder, ”What do the poor people do?”