Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

It’s county fair time again and today’s observation comes in the form of cows. This year, we got to the fair early. As in, before the cows were judged and auctioned off. If you get there before the judging, you’ll see something almost surreal. Clean cows. No, not just clean. But clean, shiny, tidy, and not stinky. They relax on a bed of clean sawdust. As you walk past, you see their contest entry information including the owner’s name, and the name of the gigantic mass of beef that sits on the other side of a fence. Names like Penny, Goldie, Gretchen adorn cute little plaques and paper signs. Each lovingly hand-made by a child who has spent the last umteen months nurturing the growth and health of their little… errr big… Snooky. There Snooky sits, chewing her cud, relaxing as if she’s spent her whole life, well, relaxing. They almost smile as if to say, “This is the life I was meant for.” Should one of the cows express the end of their digestive cycle, heaven forbid that it should remain on the ground for more than a few moments before a 4-H volunteer runs over and scoops up the mess and shuttles it off in preservation of the dignity of their beloved friend. Here’s a wonderful picture of the cows enjoying the summer day.

(Click image to enlarge)
Ah, but there’s something the cows don’t realize. After the judging, they’re auctioned off to the highest bidder. They are bid farewell from the human companion and servant who has brought the cow to this pinnicle of life. Often their little human friend will shed a tear for their beloved 4-H project. The plaques and signs, so lovely hung are left for the end of the show when a crew in charge of cleaning the barn will toss them into the trash with the sawdust and the manure. For the new owners didn’t raise his new cow. He didn’t care for it and he doesn’t want to know it’s name. The cows are taken away in large trucks. Looking back, they see another 4-H project. It’s a sign all right. Hanging on the side of the fence where the cows are not allowed to see… until now.

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