“Cow!”, my wife shouted as our vehicle rounded the curve. I prepared to take exception should her remark be directed at me, but my gaze was fixed on the creature blocking the road. Admittedly, I had taken the curve too aggressively in my rush to get home from a morning of errands, nearly giving new meaning to “beef on the grill.”
The cow studied us with mixed contempt and confusion, perhaps sensing our assertion that his presence in the road was somehow inappropriate. He staggered slightly, then steadied himself. “I think he’s drunk,” I offered. “Maybe he walked here from that bar up the road.”
Examining the steep grade to my left, I noticed deep marks in the mud. Something had recently skidded down the nearly vertical hillside. Suspecting it was the dazed fellow straddling the double yellow line, I leaned out my window and looked up. I saw several cows looking down at me from the pasture above. One in particular seemed amused. “Perhaps cow tipping isn’t just for people anymore,” I thought.
Finally the cow lumbered to one side of the road. I eased my truck forward, eager to gain passage and get back to my day. I had only moved a few feet when my wife quietly said, “you can’t just leave him here.”
I kept moving, hoping the cow wouldn’t change his mind and revert to full roadblock position. I turned to my wife to see if I could change hers. “What can I do? I don’t even know who he belongs to,” I reasoned. Thoughts of a wasted day filled my head, complete with visions of this bewildered bovine riding in the bed of my pickup while I searched the back roads for his owner. I considered the possibility that I might be trapped in a Far Side cartoon.
I kept moving. Seconds later, my wife pointed toward a farmhouse. “He belongs there,” she said triumphantly. Sensing the inevitable, I reluctantly braked and turned into the gravel drive.
An elderly woman met me at the door. “Is that your pasture?” I asked, gesturing up the road. “I think one of your cows slid down the hill.” It was one of the more absurd things I’d spoken aloud, yet I could hear the urgency in my voice.
She studied me for a moment, then casually replied, “Yep, sometimes they’ll do that.” I waited for additional explanation, but she had already begun pulling on her boots, ready to trudge up the road and retrieve her livestock.
I climbed in my truck, and she waved a quick thanks. I returned it, pondering daredevil cows and good deeds. Heading for home, my wife smiled contentedly.