The Cow Chronicles


| 9/28/2009 5:58:00 PM


A photo of Shirley Rodeo VanScoykIt’s one o’clock on a Thursday afternoon, and I am in my office, three towns from home. I am paged – it is Rippergurl in a high state. She says, “Rodeo, whose cows are these?”

Since I can’t see through the phone, I have no idea. I say, “I have no idea.” She says, “There are cows all over the road!” (Again, I can not see through the phone.) I say, “Where ARE you? And how many?” I don’t know why it’s important to know how many, but it is. I mean, how do I gauge the urgency I will bring to this conversation if I don’t know if there are dozens, hundreds or several cows on the road in front of her? The “where” is very important – is she downtown? In which case – the officials will be doing something about it. Or is she in front of my house? Which means that it is somehow my fault that there are a hundred cows loose in West Cornmeal township?

The worst is confirmed. She is only 1/4 mile from my house. She can’t count the number of cows. They are “all over.” They are “all sizes, shapes and colors.” They are “milling around.”

I say, “I bet they belong to that guy – the one who bought Mr. Esh’s farm – I think he’s a heart surgeon from Philly? The one who will not let my boarders ride through his place?” (I am in danger of going off on a tangent and she knows it) Reacting to the unspoken warning in the long, deep sigh she has just let out, I say, “Just drive up there, tell his farm manager there are cows. It will be okay.” Apparently, she is out of gas and in a hurry. So I say, “Okay, look. I will call the police. They will know what to do, help us find the owners. You go do what you have to do, and I will take care of it.”

Having said this, I hang up the phone from my new vantage point on the office floor where I now am sporting hemp woven textured letters that say WELCOME – because I have completed a Kafka-esque transformation into a doormat.



Since I am three towns away from the milling horde of cows, I call the state police. Now, since we are so rural, our town is served by state police who are housed in a barracks twenty miles distant. This barracks is NOT surrounded by a high fence made of lodge pole pines, but it might as well be. I am all business.

Dogcrate King
9/30/2009 3:48:03 PM

Another great episode, Rodeo!






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