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A Smart Cow Story II

Updated on December 18, 2017
cam8510 profile image

Chris practices free writing which often produces humorous or introspective results with practical applications to living life more fully.


Growing up on a dairy farm in Indiana was for me an udder delight....Okay, I got that out of the way early.

Actually, it is only in hindsight that I consider growing up on a dairy farm all that great. At the time it was a lot of work that I really didn’t want to do. So quite often I didn’t do it. My older brother was much more inclined toward work, so I let him have all he wanted.

Holstein cows dominated our lives. Twice a day, whether we felt like it or not, they needed to be milked. Here’s a little story just to let you know what a cow goes through if she misses being milked for a couple of days.

This farm looks amazingly like the farm on which I grew up.
This farm looks amazingly like the farm on which I grew up. | Source

Occasionally cows get out of the area where they are supposed to be. Our cows had all the space in the world. They could stay in the barns, go out into the pasture or stand in the creek to cool off. But there was something mesmerizing, even alluring about what was on the other side of the gate that kept them within their enormous boundaries. When they did decide to make a break for it, they usually chose to do so in the middle of the night.

When the cows got out, someone in the family usually heard the sound of bumbling bovines outside and got up to check it out. Then they would yell all around the house that the cows were out. Everyone had to get up. No one was exempt. We would run out into the woods if they had wandered into that deep darkness. Or they may have taken off down our quarter mile long driveway. Sometimes they would get into a cornfield. If the corn was over their heads, we would have to go into the corn and stay until we found them all. With my sister, brothers and I wandering around out there in the dark, it was like the real life “Children of the Corn.” After chasing cows up and down corn rows all night, we probably did look slightly demon possessed when it was all over.

Frank Johnson, Ontario, Oregon. One acre of his own growing and planting.
Frank Johnson, Ontario, Oregon. One acre of his own growing and planting. | Source

Where was I? Oh yes, I’m supposed to be telling you about what happens to a cow when she isn’t milked twice a day. Well, one night all the cows got out, just like I’ve already explained. We got them all back, or so we thought. At that point we probably had about eighty milk cows plus all the young heifers and calves. We didn’t miss the renegade cow until the next morning when she didn’t show up to be milked. We searched all over, but still hadn’t found her by milking time that evening. So she had missed two milkings.

We were all sleeping soundly that night. It was the night after the cow had escaped. I would have enjoyed watching her as she realized the price she would pay for her rebelliousness. I imagine she began turning slow circles trying to figure out where she was. When she finally decided which way the farm was, she would have been getting physically very uncomfortable.

When a cow misses one milking, the milk still continues to be manufactured in her body. That milk still goes to her udder. After missing two milkings, things would be getting seriously full and the cow would be desperate for relief. Milk would be dripping from her teats as she made her way home. Maybe this is a good time to ask if you’ve ever had to go to the bathroom really badly, you know, number one. Have you ever been desperate to go but couldn’t get to a restroom? Well, if things got really bad, you could take care of business wherever and whenever. But not so the cow. They can’t get rid of their milk like that. They need the farmer to do it for them. And this poor cow...I really did not feel sorry for her at all...this poor cow slowly made her way back to the farm.

The copyright holder of this file allows anyone to use it for any purpose, provided that a mention to "Ad Meskens" be included.
The copyright holder of this file allows anyone to use it for any purpose, provided that a mention to "Ad Meskens" be included. | Source

She was a holstein cow. In my humble opinion, holsteins are normally only slightly more intelligent than the fence posts that are supposed to help keep them in the pasture. This cow walked back to the farm. She didn’t go to the barn or bed down outside the fence where her friends and family were eating and sleeping on the other side. No, this cow went straight to the house. That night it was not one of our family members that woke everyone else up because the cows were out. The cow that was out woke everyone up. She had stopped walking precisely outside my parent’s bedroom window. It was summer, so the window was wide open which served the cow’s purpose very well. She let out the loudest, most forlorn, tormented, desperate moooooo that the world has ever heard. I think everyone in the house wet their bed that night.

My father was out the door in a flash. Literally, he was flashing. He hadn’t bothered to put his pants on. But he did have them in his hand as he headed for the barn with the cow following close behind. She went straight to the stall where she knew she would finally find relief.

And that is the story of the second most intelligent cow I’ve ever known.


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    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Hi Deb, My Mom read the story and reminded me that this particular cow ha d been my 4H cow. That may be why she was attracted to the house to solve her problem. Thanks for reading/commenting.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      7 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I'll bet that cow never fled her area again, did she? They can't be that dumb if it happens once.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Pamela, Things have changed dramatically over the thirty eight years since I was on the farm. Dairy farms are predominantly very large, factory type operations with thousands of cows. I doubt that they even get out of the barn let alone out the way ours did. Thank you for reading. I'm glad you could learn something here as well as have a little laugh. I'll be writing about the first most intelligent cow I have ever known very soon. I hope to see you again then.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Since I know nothing about working on a dairy farm, this was really interesting, not to mention funny. Great hub!

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Becky, cow would walk off a cliff if you didn't turn them back. The most intelligent cow I've met really was pretty smart. She was actually capable of reasoning and acting on conclusions. Hard to believe huh?

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Ann, the story of the smartest cow I've ever known is coming up soon. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      7 years ago from SW England

      I couldn't resist this title!! As others have already asked, what about the most intelligent? Hope that's the subject of another hub, or are you just teasing us?! Great story; at least the cow finally decided to act sensibly. Sounds like a fun farm! All the best to you. Ann

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      7 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I am going to ask you, What is the story of the most intelligent cow you ever knew? I agree with you, they are really stupid. They could not live without us to take care of them. This one did show obvious intelligence. She did find her way home. I have seen some that could not.

      I lived across the street from a field with cow in it. Most of the time they just ate. A calf got out one night and got into my yard. The dog went nuts and told us about it. I shooed it back across the road, thinking it could get back through the hole it went out. It missed the hole, and it and mama stood one foot from the hole and bawled because they could not get together.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Hi Victoria Lynn, I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I noticed that you are writing a blog and using your dogs and cats as subjects. There should be some funny stories there. Thanks for visiting and happy Thanksgiving.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Eric, now that's my kind of cow. I'm going to wait for someone to ask me the obvious question about the title to this hub before I write the next cow story. Thanks for visiting and sharing your smart cow story.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Oh, I love this! What a neat story. Poor, poor, smart cow!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Our old Bessie was real smart she would walk down into a gully but could not figure how to walk back the same way. She would just stand there and look like she was crying.

      Great story, I loved it. Thanks.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Hi Bill. You know, to even use the words "intelligent" and "cow" in the same sentence is an automatic oxymoron. I'll watch for your chicken hub. happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      If that was the second most intelligent cow you have known, it really doesn't say much for those behind her. LOL Great story. You are writing about cows and tomorrow I write about chickens. Ah, the life of a writer. :) Thanks for the fun story my friend.


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