By Baxter Black: PNT columnist
There is a frequently told story by cowmen and veterinarians since herdsmen discovered fire. As I listened to a Georgia farmer recount his own personal version, I found myself imagining how the cow would feel.
“I was grazing down by the creek. Something I do every day, I think? My short-term memory is going.
“I know I have calves. I’m not sure how many, but who keeps count. I guess they grow inside me. Maybe I eat something, or an insect bites me or it has something to do with the moon?
“Anyway … where was I?”
The event down by the creek.
“Oh, yeah, I was grazing down by the creek. Ya know I do have a childhood memory. It was very dark and snug. I was in my sleeping bag. It was squeezing me. I don’t know how long it lasted. I don’t know how long is long?
“Then a hand gripped me. I remember a shiny bracelet which came tight, nearly pulled my front legs out of their socket. And then I burst into the light. I never thought about eyes … or seeing. Maybe I thought I was a star-nosed mole or a potato? But the light was overwhelming. I had one of those ‘Hark the Herald Angel’ moments!”
Back to the creek.
Where you had the event.
The one down by the creek.
“Oh, that one. Well, I was grazing and began to feel a little acid reflux … then I realized cows can’t get acid reflux, they wouldn’t know it the way they regurgitate all those cuds all the time. Anyway … where was I?”
Down by the creek.
“Yes. I had terrible stomach pains, a shortness of breath, then I slipped on the bank and went down. Next thing I remember the two-legged, ball-faced upright giant frog walkers who come and disturb us now and then, were manhandling me. One had a big rubber tube and he was forcing it down my throat. It was dark. I felt dizzy. I couldn’t see. I thought I was back in my sleeping bag.
“I couldn’t understand their frog talk but one was bawling and hollering and suddenly the other one’s five-fingers front leg caught on fire. There was a terrible explosion. I imagined I was a dragon or an F-16 or an industrial strength weed burner. The sky lit up.
“And that’s all I remember, my second ‘Hark the Herald Angels’ moment. That, and the bawling frog walker baptizing himself in the creek.”