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Friday, March 13, 2009

Kansas is just Special

Kansans do indeed belong on the short bus, and that is only because we like the coziness to chat.

Last night I walked outside to milk. The hot water I was carrying in my silver pail, sent steam whispering into the air as the snow fell around and into it. As I shut the door, I noticed that not a sound came from my cows. Normally my ladies are loud and demanding. And they can hear the back door shut. In Pavlovian style, drool swings in a sticky string from their mouths as they bellow into the night air, fighting for my sole attention and whoring themselves for a treat. But last night was different. No sounds emerged from the tin barn.

The night air was chilled, but not uncomfortable. Not a creature disturbed the light sound of an early spring zephyr that swirled the large snowflakes. Even the dogs that are normally boisterous, and ready to throw down with one another, were subdue. Murrial, my strawberry brown and white speckled milking short horn, waited for me on the other side of the field gate. Her ears perked, wanting to know if what was inside the bucket was something special for her, and her alone. I hated to disappoint the girl, but all I carried was water, a milk pail and wash clothes. Nothing she would be interested in. She sniffed at me, stuck her long pink tongue up her left nostril, and skipped, in only the manner a cow could skip, away from me. Hopping to avoid any physical contact.

Mama was waiting patiently for me beside the milk stanchion, while her sister made baby cow sounds on the other side of the gate. No one bellowed and no one ordered. Mama, black as a long winter's night and just as stubborn, walked quietly into the stanchion. Tonight the snow effect made a difference in her bullish attitude. No wandering over to the feed bin in attempts to steal a little nibble.

With the milking completed and the Dams back with their proper calves, no one complained as I left the barn. No one followed, no one tried to sneak out the gate. The magic that is a Kansas snow had the same effect that the Poppies did on Dorothy, the Lion, and the Scarecrow.

10 comments:

Spokes... said...

You told that well...almost as though I were standing off to the side experiencing it for myself.

DivaHick said...

Just a lovely story...

Although I admittedly had a moment of panic when you said that you couldn't hear the cows, I was waiting to hear that they were gone!!! LOL

Annette said...

I'm with spokes - you are a very talented writer. I can almost hear the silence of the snow fall.
Brought tears to my eyes!

Irma said...

Your prose is beautiful.

Do this more often, it's a side of you I didn't realize.

April said...

Phelan, that was an excellent bit of written word. Get all the goat out of you and you turn into quite the author.

HermitJim said...

Well, once again you have shown just how multi-talented you really are!

Very well done...very real and very enjoyable.

Thank you for sharing that with us, my friend!

FancyHorse said...

Yes, that was lovely, and I, too, was first afraid something had happened to your ladies.

I've never seen a cow skip!

word verification game
sulso: a sulky old so-and-so

edifice rex said...

Very nice. I enjoy all your posts but you should write some more like this.

dancingfarmer said...

Got my cow yesterday. She hates me of course (don't they all at first?) but I have her in the barn spending time with her right now. She looked a bit like a fence jumper after the drive home and excitement and we're thinking electric wire at the top for a "just in case" type situation. Never needed that with those short Dexters hehehe
Your shorthorn is a beauty by the way...don't think I said anything previously.
540 jars? May not be enough but still a good haul.

lisa said...

"Sleep my pretties"...I'm with the other commenters-you are an excellent writer!

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