Contrary to popular belief, the world doesn’t run on Dunkin. It runs on love. I know there are skeptics out there who believe love is a capitalistic concept we’ve been sold to keep the economy humming so please allow me to regale you with a tale that will put your doubts to rest. Love is real and never has that sentiment been proven more than the fairy tale romance of Diego the Cow and Brenda the Buzzard.
For years, Diego the Cow searched for “Her.” He knew she was out there, somewhere, and he knew he would find her. Every day he would wander the farm, moving along the electrified fence and looking out into the distance. Of course cows are near-sighted by nature, so all he saw were smudges mixed with blurs. No matter, his soul mate was somewhere and he would find her.
Diego had a pal, Thurston, who was a couple of years older and happened to be a rooster. His rooster friend knew of Diego’s thirst and devoted a portion of his day to finding someone to set him up with. Unfortunately, Thurston only knew chickens and Diego was not attracted to the chicken. This would upset Thurston, who would rail against his racist thinking. How could Diego claim to be looking for the love of his life if he so willingly discarded an entire species?
One day, Farmer Bill left the west gate slightly ajar and as Diego made his daily rounds he noticed his opportunity had finally arrived. There was no love to be found on a farm full of fat cows and plucking chickens. However, there was a great big world out there and it was time to go exploring. With a MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Diego took his enormous cow head and pushed the gate forward. He put his left hoof out and took a tentative first step. He had never left the farm before and the realization this was actually happening took hold of his heart.
MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, he cried.
MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, he said again, more as an urging to the heavens than a statement to the Earth.
With a one final MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Diego left the farm.
He had arrived in the real world.
His mind rushed with all the things he longed to see. There was the green thing out in the distance. That brown mess thing a little to the left. Diego was certain that not only was this the best day of his life, this was the best day in the life of any cow, at any time in any place.
Who knows? Maybe his destiny wasn’t just to find his soul mate. Maybe he was put on this Earth to be an activist of sorts. A bovine activist who could hold rallies and bring attention to the plight of the cow. Perhaps he could get set up with some of the Hollywood elite and go to fancy dinners and laugh at things he didn’t understand. What if, in the course of his dealings a person with money saw his true potential and wanted him to run for Senate? Senator Diego the Cow! Could you imagine? His mother, God rest her soul, would be so proud. So proud of all the things her son had accomplished. Then, when he grew old he could pen his memoirs and leave behind a legacy for future cows everywhere.
Of course there would be dalliances too. Women were sure to throw themselves at him. He would sire at least one calf, probably four or five. He was clearly marked for greatness. What if his true greatness came from his loins? One of his calves, or grandcalves, could grow up and become…President?
President Diego the Cow’s Calf?
He was going to change the world! Diego bent his head back and let out the loudest,
of his life. Happiness, joy and financial success were mere steps away…
Brenda the Buzzard had spent the last eight years of her life playing the bridesmaid. All of her sisters and all of her friends had gotten married and they had all put her in their wedding parties. All the money spent on dresses and ribbons in her talons and getting her beak done had cost her a pretty penny. Brenda was tired of playing second fiddle. She would meet the love of her life or die trying.
Off in the distance Brenda spied something amiss. She knew the lay of the land down to the inch and had never seen the form off in the distance. She dropped down to take a peak and realized the form was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. White and fresh and red.
Lots of red.
Red was the color of love!
Brenda landed upon the Earth and could not believe her eyes. He was perfect. Massive, silent and big brown baleful eyes. Brenda dropped her head so that their heads touched.
“I love you,” she exclaimed.
“I love you!” She shouted again.
“All those wasted years now make perfect sense,” she whispered, “for the path brought me here, to you, on this day.” Her beak nuzzled his open mouth and she wrapped her buzzard tongue around the protruding tongue hanging loosely from his mouth.
And then Brenda the Buzzard began to feast.
“Paw! Paw! Come quick. I done shot a monster!”
Sam sat on his recliner and dropped the newspaper down an inch. What was his idiot son prattling on about now?
“What you spouting off about?” His son charged into the room with spit and snot and depraved joy coursing through his veins.
“I killed it! I killed it good! One shot, ONE SHOT!” Junior began to dance around holding his right index finger up in the air.
“Junior what did I tell you about wandering around with your gun?” His father’s question stopped Junior dead in his tracks. He stood like a statue for several minutes, his tongue tracing the outline of his mouth before he finally thought of the answer.
“Make sure if I is gonna shoot I is don’t miss.”
“Good. Now if I get out of this chair and don’t see a monster laying in the field I’m a gonna whoop you and whoop you good!”
“Don’t you worry Paw! I killed a monster.”
“Okay let’s go take a look.”
Sam climbed out of his recliner and followed his overeager son out the door and towards the field.
“See Paw? See? I done told you—GET AWAY FROM MY KILL!”
Junior unholstered his weapon and fired point blank at Brenda the Buzzard, who was too in love devouring the remains of Diego the Cow to sense any danger. Brenda fell over in a heap and after a final death rattle lay still, spooning the back of Diego.
“Ahhhhh shit,” Sam shouted.
“What’s the matter Paw?” Sam took off his derby and slapped it against his thigh.
“You done shot Neighbor Bill’s cow that’s what! He gonna want a pretty penny!”
“WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH,” Junior cried.
“Now don’t mind your fussin’. If you don’t want to lose all your allowance money you’ll run to the house, grab some shovels and pretend none of this ever happened.”
Two hours later a proper hole was dug and the remains of Diego the Cow and Brenda the Buzzard were flung below. The father and son quickly filled in the mound and patted down the soil so the ground looked undisturbed to the naked eye. Sam reached into his left overalls pocket and took out a tin of tobacco. He placed a pinch inside his cheek and watched the sun descend below the horizon.
“You think theys were in love?”
“What?” He said with a spit.
“You think theys were in love?”
“Now where would you get an idea like that?”
“Because we buried them together. Don’t that make them married?”
“I says because we buried them together. Don’t that make them married?” Sam gave his son an eyeful, curious where he was going with this.
“Because you told me one day you’ll be buried next to Maw.”
Sam pondered upon his son’s insight and let out a deep, mournful sigh. He hadn’t thought of Betty in a while. Too long a while. Had his grief finally subsided? Or had his heart calloused enough to deal with the burdens of life? Sam spit out some more tobacco and looked down at his son.
“Yup. Theys were married.” Sam put his arm around his son, the first time he had showed Junior any affection since Betty’s death and they walked back to their house arm in arm, together.