Monday, August 15, 2005


When I was a kid we had a cow. His name was Brownie. Actually his name was Brownie Joe. I wanted to name him Brownie because he was mostly brown (Okay, I was 6 or 7) and my dad wanted to name him Joe. So Brownie Joe it was. Brownie was a beef steer and at my young age I just didn't get it that we were going to have Brownie in the freezer a few months later. I think Browine knew something was up because he would periodically run away. I don't even know if one could actually call it running away or just visiting some friends. Every so often Mr. or Mrs. Olander would call. They lived up the road a bit. Maybe a 10 minute or less walk. They had a dairy farm. Brownie would always go up there and visit the dairy cows. Maybe he had a crush on one of the girls. As I recall Betty and Bossie were quite the lookers. Anyway we would get a call from one of the Olanders and they would tell us that Brownie was visiting and did they want us to walk him back down or would we come up and get him. I wonder how many people get a call from someone with a heavy Norweigian accent telling them, "Brownie is here. Would you like us to walk him back?"

I've always loved cows. I like all animals, but there's just something about cows. The way they let birds perch on their heads, the way they let you rest your forehead on them when you milk them. I can tell you I haven't met a lot of humans with that sort of patience and laid back style.

My favorite breed of cow is the Belted Galloway. Yep, the penguin cow.

Here are a few famous bovines taken from the book A Field Guide to Cows..

Black Diamond was a bison and the model for the Buffalo nickel.

Elm Farm Ollie was the first cow to fly in an airplane. This was in 1930 and she was also milked while flying. How rude!!!

You'll Do, Lobelia-The original model for Elsie the Cow.

Mrs. O'Leary's Cow- The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 started in the O'Leary's barn-there never was any proof that Mrs. O'Leary's cow really started the fire.

I guess I really should be moooving on now. (I couldn't resist).

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