On Cows

Lydia Davis has already done this sort of cow observing in her chapbook, The Cows. Perhaps inspired (as usual) by her, I couldn’t help but put down a few words about some of the cows in my own town:


From the gate we saw the youngest at the corner of the pasture, hiding against the stone wall. Another licked himself under a tree at the top of the hill. One stood guard in the center of the field. Cow number A24 came close to us, so close that when I read the tag on his ear, he seemed to nod, suggesting that both he and I knew his “name.”

The bulk of the group, however, rotated around the cow with a particular attribute on this rainy day. Attached to the end of his knotted tail was a long stick shaped like a slingshot. Two cows stood on either side of him at first, trying to knock the stick away. This effort was short lived, however. The cows all went back to chewing, and the stick just hung there, swaying back and forth with the slow steps of its host.

2013 S. Vos


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