Monday, December 17, 2012

Baxter Black: Society owes much to fecal shape

Henry David Thoreau wrote a whole book about a pond and never got wet. He simply took the time to ponder.

I, too, find myself pondering life’s mysteries. For example, what is the purpose of a dewclaw, to measure the dew?

Why do horses have canine teeth? Were they once carnivores? How do sheep tell each other apart? Why do ants think they can drag a kibble of dog food back to the hill? Do they lack depth perception?

But last night, I lay awake pondering why cows make pies instead of pellets. If they did — make pellets, I mean — would they be like an elk’s, which are larger than a deer’s, or just sheep-sized? Or, what if they were as big as road apples and elongated like a rat? It would be dangerous to walk behind them! I imagine the diligent, hard-working cow veterinarian in the process of preg-testing, routinely lifting the cow’s tail, sighting in and getting bonked in the head by a fecal projectile!

The paramedics would haul him to the emergency room. The admitting-room nurse would write down “cow biscuit concussion” and ask about his insurance.

 Under the category of trauma, his policy would cover horn goring, hoof stomping, pole butting, tail slashing, cow kicking, bummer gumming and cud spitting, but not CBC.

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