Gwen Peterson: Country and city cousins see diets differently
Cousin Claude came out West to help out on cousin Clarence’s sheep ranch. A teenager, raised where the only soil he ever saw was the dirt in the sidewalk cracks, Claude had trouble adjusting.
He wore a disdainful air and felt called upon to issue comments, usually couched in accusatory phrases, such as pointing out that soda cans and water bottles should be recycled.
“It’s an ecologically sound practice,” he said. “I notice you have an entire basket of empty containers there on the porch that should be recycled.”
Clarence only nodded and mentioned that today they’d be docking lambs and ringing the ram lambs.
“Well, okay,” said Claude, as he sat down at the table, “but I really feel I should eat some breakfast first. Do you have any Cheerios?”
Claude griped because he couldn’t find
Anything that cook had made,
He claimed just wouldn’t do.
He wouldn’t eat fresh eggs or bacon,
Or any kind of beef.
“For I’m a serious vegetarian,
And meat would give me grief!”
For breakfast I like Cheerios
Claude said loftily
They’re healthful, made of oaten grains
He sniffed quite haughtily
Now, it was springtime after lambing,
And just that special time,
When little ram lambs undergo
A certain change of mind.
Clarence fetched the proper docking tools
And a bowl of lambing rings
And set them on the kitchen table,
Claude’s eyes took on a gleam
“I’ll take a bowl of those!” he cried.
“They must be good, they’re green!”
“Why, sure enough,” Clarence drawled
And passed the lambing rings.
“They’re vegetarian Cheerios,
I bought ‘em just for you.
They’re minty green for added flavor,
Though not real easy chewed.”
Claude poured on milk and ate and ate,
Spooning up the rings.
It took him nearly half an hour
To finish off the things.
Those little zeros went down whole
And out Claude’s other end,
They kept their shape and mint green tint
Through all internal bends.
“Oh, my” said Claude; his face turned pale,
“Is this a sign I’m dying?”
“Nawww,” drawled Clarence, “It’s what we call