A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold, the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While she was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on her. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, she began to realize how warm she was getting, as the dung was actually thawing her out. She lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, promptly dug her out and ate her.
For most men and boys-soon-to-be-men, long gone are the days when milking a cow was a chore as common as doing the dishes. Now mostly done by high-tech machines at commercial dairies, the task of milking a cow by hand once brought farmers and their families into close bonds with the animals that helped to feed them every day. If you’re a city dweller, it’s unlikely you’ll come across a situation that demands you milk a cow, save for some post-apocalyptic future where healthy, milk-producing dairy cows are readily available and you’re in desperate need of some ice cream. But that’s not the point. The point is, milking a cow by hand is a tradition deep-rooted in the blood of our agricultural ancestors and learning how to do it is as much about preserving that knowledge as it is about practicing it.
|A farmer was sitting in the neighborhood bar getting hammered.
A man came in and asked the farmer, ‘Hey, why are you sitting here on this beautiful day, getting drunk?’
The farmer shook his head and replied, ‘Some things you just can’t explain.’
‘So what happened that’s so horrible?’ the man asked as he sat down next to the farmer.
‘Well,’ the farmer said, ‘today I was sitting by my cow, milking her. Just as I got the bucket ’bout full, she lifted her left leg and kicked over the bucket.’
‘Okay,’ said the man, ‘but that’s not so bad.’ ‘Some things you just can’t explain,’ the farmer replied.
‘So what happened then?’ the man asked.
The farmer said, ‘I took her left leg and tied it to the post on the left.’
‘And then?’ ‘Well, I sat back down and continued to milk her.
Just as I got the bucket ’bout full, she took her right leg and kicked over the bucket.’
Man laughed and said, ‘Again?’ The farmer replied, ‘Some things you just can’t explain.’
‘So, what did you do then?’ the man asked. ‘I took her right leg this time and tied it to the post on the right.’
‘And then?’ ‘Well, I sat back down and began milking her again.
Just as I got the bucket about full, the stupid cow knocked over the bucket with her tail.’
‘Hmmm . . . ‘ the man said and nodded his head. ‘Some things you just can’t explain,’ the farmer said.
‘So, what did you do?’ the man asked.
‘Well,’ the farmer said, ‘I didn’t have anymore rope, so I took off my belt and tied her tail to the rafter. In that moment, my pants fell down and my wife walked in . . . Some things you just can’t explain.’