Not long ago, I wrote about lowing cattle. And wouldn’t you know it? A reader from a herd wrote back. Not any reader, mind you; he is a herd-member reader who worked frequently in westerns, appearing prominently in stampedes. He’s the one going, “I hate this!” But being a cow, it just came out “Moo!”
The following, in English, is a translation of his remarks:
“First thing you need to know is that, by nature, cattle do not like to stampede. We don’t even like walking that much.
“Mostly, we like to low and eat grass. What does ‘low’ mean? I’m not sure, except that it involves minimal movement, beyond occasionally raising our heads, and shooing away flies with our tails.
“It’s not that we’re lazy. We are simply content. ‘Lazy’ is, ‘Oh, grass. I should bend down and eat that.’ And we don’t.
“Now, about stampedes. The script says, ‘The herd is bedded down for the night.’ That we like. It’s quiet. It’s cool. We get a break from walking to the ‘railhead.’ I don’t know what the ‘railhead’ is. No cow ever came back to tell us.
“The script says, ’The cattle are driven.’ The Rawhide theme song says, ‘Through wind and rain and weather…’ It was terrible!
“’Cows hate being ‘driven.’ Even on nice days!
“Of course, they made it up to us. When they bedded us down for the night, they’d helpfully sing us to sleep. Did you ‘get’ that was sarcastic when I said that? It’s hard to tell. We have expressionless faces. ‘Big brown eyes.’ But they look sad when we’re remembering a joke!
“Let me ask you something. Where did they hear a herd of overworked cattle appreciate singing? ‘Night sounds’ put us to sleep. Singing? That’s so the cowboys don’t fall asleep.
“Okay, so we are just about to drop off. Suddenly, the script says, ‘Reaching for a lick of sugar, he accidentally rattles the pots. The herd immediately “spooks”, and they begin to stampede.’
“That would never… happen. Someone rattles some pots, we’d go ‘Pots’, and that’s it.
“I am saying from experience:
“No one ever stampeded from ‘Pots.’
“You hear gunshots, you run, because, you know… you remember the buffalo. They didn’t run – now there’s eleven of them left. But believe me, after a long day on the trail,
“No one’s running from ‘Pots.’
“First time, we were invited to the premiere, which was nice. They almost never invite horses. Sure, the ‘Names’, but no one from posses.
“The thing is, as soon as the ‘Pots’ scene came on, the area allocated to ‘cattle’, we start rolling our big brown eyes, and loudly ‘Mooing’ our objections. They had to turn on the lights, and someone made a big speech.
“The scene’s back on the screen – we immediately react.
“We’re not idiots! It’s ‘Pots!’
“Needless to say, they never invited us back. Which was fine. After the show, they served ‘barbecue.’
“I mean, what were they thinking!”
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