The Cow Chase
A soft breeze sighed across the secluded farm. Countless birds perched in the surrounding pines raising their voices in praise of spring. Their twittering songs were so lovely and so sweet that one could almost forget that if you could translate birdsong into English the lyrics would almost certainly read something like, “Well hey there, pretty chicky, those’re some mighty fine tail feathers you got there.”
The melody of flirty fowls echoed through the fields, everywhere except one far corner currently occupied by a single cow. The birds there were strangely quiet, as if they were worried that hooves and a long ancestry of herbivores might not stop this particular bovine from climbing a tree and devouring them if their music offended her.
She’d never been given a proper name. Although, people who’d wandered too near sometimes referred to her as, “AAAHHH!” However, that was difficult to pronounce, so she simply thought of herself as Cow. This was not to be confused with just cow. She was The Cow with a capital C, and she ruled her farm with an iron hoof. All the regular, lowercase cows gave her a wide berth and spoke of her only in hushed moos.
A truck door slammed, echoing across the pasture, and Cow’s ears perked up. Sounded like someone was trespassing, a capital offense on her farm. She trudged off towards the noise, her long face set in a scowl. Not an expression one expects from a bovine, but Cow managed it quite well, really put the cow in scowl, you might say.
Across the field a pond was nestled in a steep hollow. Booted feet clomped along its banks, and the sound of happily whistling lips skipped across the water. One might’ve recognized the wandering tune as the theme song from Disney’s Robin Hood, but only if they’d never seen the movie or heard someone whistle.
What a beautiful day, Chase thought to himself. The sun’s shining brightly. The birds are singing lewdly. Hopefully, the fish will be biting…
He paused in his train of thought, reaching for an appropriate adverb.
Chase smiled and nodded with the self-satisfaction of a writer who has only a tenuous grasp of the English language. With his brand new rod gripped in his hand, he strolled his way to his favorite fishing spot, a red clay embankment. His boots sank into the sticky muck, and digging a plastic worm from a pocket, he baited the hook.
Drawing back to cast, Chase caught movement from the corner of his eye. He turned, rod still held dumbly over his head. A few dozen yards down the bank a cow was charging determinately towards him. And, oddly enough, it seemed to be scowling.
The human mind is a strange thing. It has the ability to create beautiful works of art or a mathematical formula proving black holes. Yet, that very same mind can walk through a door frame and suddenly be unable to remember whether it came to the room to search for car keys or to pluck a chicken.
Chase’s mind was stranger than most, but he fancied himself pretty adept with words. In fact, a thousand very appropriate curses zipped through his mind at that moment. Some were clever and witty. Some were terrible, bordering on blasphemous. All were unfit for this publication. However, Chase was rather surprised that when the time came for him to properly articulate his unfortunate situation the only word he was able to scream was, “Cow!”
The bovine mind is significantly less complicated. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the only thing Cow thought as she charged was that someone had finally gotten her blasted name right. It made her glad. Not glad enough to, you know, not murder the fellow. He was trespassing in her field after all, but it felt nice to get a little recognition.
Chase’s mind stopped cursing and reminded his feet that they should probably be getting on with it. He spun and took off running. Or sort of did anyway. While he was technically running, the taking off part proved a bit problematic. The red clay was so slippery that it apparently transformed him into a Looney Tunes character. Chase’s feet could find no traction, leaving him running in place like the Road Runner right before he shoots away from Coyote.
If bovines could laugh Cow would’ve been rolling as she neared the silly trespasser flailing a stick and running in place. She was mere feet from him now. All of the sudden the little man jumped to a dry patch of ground and in one fluid motion spun and swung his stick directly into Cow’s face. She veered away, closing her eyes and shaking her head in pain.
When she opened her eyes again the stick lay in several broken pieces at her hooves, and the man was already several yards away and moving fast. For reasons that Cow could never possibly understand he yelled over his shoulder, “Beep! Beep!”
Cow charged after him.
Not even one cast! Chase thought furiously, sprinting towards his truck. But he had to admit a broken fishing rod was better than a broken skull. He risked a look behind, and a terrified squeak escaped his lips. Not only was the creature still in pursuit, she was gaining.
The cow or demon, whatever it was, was clearly in superior shape. Chase consoled himself by reasoning that if he spent every day chasing innocent folks around fields, he’d be in tiptop shape as well. Murder rampages were probable great cardio.
Hoof beats thumped right behind Chase as he neared the truck. He heard an odd high-pitched squealing noise, but realizing it was only him, he closed his mouth. He made a grab for the door handle, but the Hell-beast was too close. No time. He sprinted around the front of truck. Cow followed.
Chase and Cow were on their third revolution of the truck when Chase decided to try something stupid. He swung wide, luring the cow away from the pickup. As they’d circled back to the driver’s side again, Chase turned and bolted directly towards the truck. Mustering every ounce of athletic ability he had left, he dove headfirst through the open window.
Unfortunately, he only made it about halfway. Stubby legs thrashed and kicked from the window. Never one to pass up such a fine opportunity, Cow charged forward and gleefully head butted all those dangling limbs until the rest of Chase had been squeezed into the truck.
Chase’s face ended up stuck in the cup holder. His left foot had somehow gotten wedged behind the review mirror, and he was pretty sure his spleen had landed somewhere near the glovebox. A pained whimper escaped his lips as he gingerly unfolded himself. However, the whimper turned into a scream as Cow shoved her snorting face through the window. Still screaming, Chase push her back by the nose the best he could until finally finding the window button. It happened to be where his kidney had landed earlier.
Chase peered through the now closed window at the terrible thing pacing around his truck. Sure, it looked like a cow, but he knew better now. Shaking his head he shifted into drive and sped away. As the pickup bounced across the field, Chase glanced in the review mirror, then locked the doors just in case.
Cow watched him drive away. An oddly sorrowful expression spread across her long face, like a child who’s just lost a favorite toy. Somewhere across the farm, a dog barked. Her head popped up, ears pulling back, and Cow set off across the field with a scowl.
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