Cows

I walked away from David Kline’s farm thinking, “I guess I’ve met more cows.” As a child if someone would have asked me my favorite place on Earth, I would have said my cousins’ farm. I have fond memories of jumping on wrapped up hay and leaping from barrel to barrel, of walking around the barn and encountering the odd cow who was separated from the herd, and feeding their pigs who wanted nothing else but food from you. I stepped into Kline’s barn and the nostalgia hit me like a freight train. The smell of the barn and the hay took me back to my cousins’ farm.

However, when we were standing in the barn and encountered his cows who could have come into the barn had the doors been open, I was reminded of another barn I spent hours in. During my senior year of high school, I had to complete a Rube Goldberg Machine, and because the machine had to be so large, my partner, James, and I completed it in his three-walled barn. I have mixed memories about the machine in general, but I loved the cows in that barn. They weren’t technically James’ cows; the barn and land were used by a big heifer company farm who would keep three to six months old cows in his barn. Then the cows would be moved to another farm, and new cows would come. Whenever I wanted a break from working on the machine, I would approach a cow, offering it a Frito. It took several attempts but, eventually, a cow ate a Frito from me. Once that first cow ate the Frito and didn’t die, the other cows must have realized I was not trying to poison them, and they all wanted Fritos from me. I’d like to imagine I was called “the Frito lady” among the cows. After the machine was finished, I went one last time to James’ house to burn the machine and say goodbye to the cows. I walked into the barn and was surprised and heartbroken to realize they were not the same cows. These cows stared at me blankly, wondering who I was. I asked James when the cows would die, and he estimated two years. I get a little sad every time I think that all my cow friends are gone. Upon seeing Kline’s cows, this memory came rushing back. I looked at the cows’ sweet faces and was surprised when I saw the calves. Of all the cows I’ve seen, none have been quite so little. I was happy to hear that Kline’s cows live ten to twelve years and that he too is connected to some of them

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