It’s a common misconception that people have, when driving through the countryside, to look out the window and remark on the peacefulness of the cattle in the fields. And yeah, maybe from the outside, that’s how it looks. But on the inside, let me assure you, it’s a fucking nightmare. You don’t even know.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of silence as a weapon, then clearly you’ve never been a cow. You wouldn’t know it to look at us, but there is a Civil War-grade battle going on out here right now. The fact that you don’t see any carcasses strewn out across the fields doesn’t mean we’re not dying out here. We are. But just on the inside.
At least I am.
I suppose I should consider myself lucky, because this is a dairy farm, not a meat farm. So I’ve got that going for me. What I wasn’t counting on when I got shipped over from Osceola, though, was that there wasn’t going to be any room in the barn for me. I don’t even know why they ordered me, to be honest. I was fine where I was before. And then I walk into this shitstorm, both literally and figuratively, and I swear to god, everybody’s milk must be contaminated from all the stress hormones. How could it not be? And I don’t even know what the problem is, exactly, or why everyone doesn’t just chill the fuck out. But they won’t. They really won’t.
I think whatever the issue was started way before I got here. Like, WAY before. I came into the barn the other day to eat and it was like this wall of butts and I could NOT get in, and then by the time I did, there was like, nothing left at ALL. There was a MOUSE in there nibbling up the loose bits. I was like, um, okay. Thanks a lot, guys. Caroline gave me a sidelong glance but she didn’t say anything. She just kept plodding away and then she dropped a load right inside the doorway. Then she looked back right at me. And that’s pretty much the attitude of the herd here.
Look, I’ve tried to make friends. I hung out with Sylvia for a while. Then she got pregnant and suddenly we had nothing in common. So then I started hanging out with Giselle and Helen and Deborah, and they were a blast until I found out that they used BgH out behind the tractor shed. Like, every day. I caught Giselle doing it one morning AFTER BREAKFAST, BY HERSELF, and she was like, “oh, hey, it’s no big deal, don’t worry about it,” and then Helen and Deborah came around the corner and sort of froze when they saw me, so I knew they were doing it, too. I didn’t know what to do so I mentioned what I had seen to Clarisse, who I guess went and told someone who told someone else, and now those three don’t talk to me either. They don’t even look at me. I mean seriously. So I was concerned, so sue me. Or, just hog the one nice tree and ice me out at any given opportunity. Either way. It’s cool.
Oh look, there goes a car. Jesus, I wish I could just hitch a ride and get out of here. But where am I gonna go? The city? What, Stevens Point or something? Yeah probably not. I mean look at me. I have a very specific skill set, and getting milk squeezed out of my udders is not exactly the kind of core competency that will get you hired at, say, the John Deere company. Or whatever. Cray Research. Is that still a thing?
But if I do decide to hop the fence and hitch out, I feel like I should do it soon, before this small-car craze goes too far. There’s still enough Land Rovers and stuff on the road out there where I could get away if I wanted to. I could. All it would take would be one open-minded person who’s willing to share the road with a cow for a few miles. Anytime, I could do this. I could be over this fence in a flash and stick out a hoof and get a ride. But I’d have to do it alone. People don’t stop for two cows as much. Not that any of the girls here would come with me. At this point they won’t even look at me. Whatever. And they never stop if there’s a bull involved. Never. Not that there would be. That’s a whole other story. I’m sure I don’t know the half of it, but from what I do know– a lot of those bulls are holding onto a whole lotta baggage. Okay just the one. Keith. Sure, he’ll come through the fence and do what he was hired to do, but pretty joylessly, I must say, and then he just goes back into his room and writes letters. To whom, I have no idea. Not me. Some other heifer in some other field I guess. Or maybe he’s just journaling, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a book. He’s not talking about it. Yeah he lives on the other side of that fence, but he’s still contributing to the deafening silence of this whole field. Sometimes I just want to scream, “Doesn’t anybody ever have any FUN around here?!!?!” But I don’t. Because I already know the answer.
Hell, maybe I’ll just walk out of here. Maybe tomorrow. I could totally do it tomorrow. Maybe. Oh shoot there’s the bell. Great. Now I gotta go get milked.
If you drive past, wave.