Est. May 2008

17 November, 2012

The Parable Of The Dry Cow

There once was a farmer named Gov, who had a herd of milk cows.  Gov would milk his herd daily, and sell the milk to make the money he needed to provide for his farm.

One day, Gov realized his cows weren’t giving as much milk as they had in the past.  Slowly but surely, bit by bit, his cows began to dry up.  After a while, nearly half his herd wasn’t giving milk anymore, no matter what he did; he gave them more feed, gave them more water, gave them incentives to breed, but nothing seemed to work.

And the offspring of those cows which had stopped giving milk never matured so they could give milk, either.  In fact, no matter how much he did for those new cows, all they did was eat, sleep, and not give anything back to Farmer Gov.

So he did the only thing he could think of to keep the money coming in: he started milking the remaining half of his herd twice a day, hoping they would give even more milk in order that he could buy more feed for the whole herd.

Soon, however, the productive half of the herd began to resist gathering to be led into the milking parlor: they would stand outside the gate, mooing and bawling, and Farmer Gov had to go out and drive them into the parlor to be milked.  It got harder and harder for Farmer Gov to get his remaining milk cows into the parlor, so he had to use harsher and harsher methods, from electric prods to stabs with a sharpened stick.

And the productive cows began showing signs of lessening productivity: their udders began to chafe and redden from the milking machines; the cows would flinch and kick at Farmer Gov whenever he tried to put the milking machines on them; they would moo threateningly and glare at Farmer Gov every time he put them in their stanchions.

Then the inevitable happened: the productive cows began going dry.  Farmer Gov, though, kept trying to milk them.  They got angrier and angrier with Farmer Gov, fighting against him whenever he tried to run them into the milking parlor.

One day, Farmer Gov went to gather his herd from the field and couldn’t find them.  He searched and searched, and searched all day, and finally found them all huddled together beneath a grandly-branched and sheltering oak tree.  Mightily angry, Farmer Gov gunned his small ATV and drove toward the herd; in his hand he carried a looped rope with which to lead the cattle – one by one, if necessary – back to the barn to be milked.

As one, the cows turned to face Farmer Gov.  They stood shoulder to shoulder, heads down, and waited for the Farmer to come nearer.  Nearer and nearer Farmer Gov came, oblivious to the threatening nature of the cattle, who were pawing the grass with their hooves and snorting.

At the last moment, one of the cows – the biggest one in the bunch, which Farmer Gov had named TEA, snorted loudly – pawed the earth once, twice, a third time...

And charged Farmer Gov, who twisted the handlebars of his ATV and throttled up to get away.

He didn’t make it.

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