In a Sow’s Ear | TheFencePost.com
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In a Sow’s Ear

by Gwen Petersen
Big Timber, Mont.

‘Twas the middle of calving and the weather was raw,

All the bovines were birthing,

and that’s when Gladys saw

A snorty old momma with a bent twisted horn

was a-startin’ to get her new offspring born.

Gladys watched from the window

in the kitchen as the cow started

thrashing and her tail started twitchin’

And then in a heartbeat, out popped a calf;

Gladys smiled at the sight

and gave a little laugh.

As the old momma cow got up

and began licking from the head to the tail,

the calf began kicking.

The new baby lay at the edge of the creek

Where ice had been forming for over a week.

The momma she licked on that calf

so durned hard it slid off the creek bank

and skidded a yard onto the ice

and what happened next?

That poor little calf must have been hexed.

It plunged through the ice

and sank out of sight,

And Gladys in the kitchen

stared out with fright.

Swifter than swift, Gladys yanked on a coat

Raced to the creek and slid down the slope.

She stuck both her arms in the freezing cold

Grabbed that calf and kept a tight hold.

She dragged him upslope

and she laid him down

In front of his momma there on the ground.

“Lick him off quickly,”

Gladys said to the cow,

“I gotta get out of these wet clothes right now!”

And Gladys she turned

and stumbled toward home,

She was frozen to her core,

she was chilled to the bone.

But she’d done a good deed;

the calf wasn’t harmed,

Then a bellow behind her

made her cringe with alarm.

That snorty old momma

had murder on her brain,

Her eyeballs were rolling,

she was slobberin’ insane!

The bellerin’ bovine caught

Gladys in the rump

And sent her airborne

and she landed with a thump!

(Later Gladys measured from

the prints in the mud

She’d soared eight feet

before she fell with a thud)

She banged up her face

on frozen cow pies,

And lay there and prayed,

afraid she would die.

That crazy old cow

she started in stomping

On Gladys’s spine ” up and down

she went romping!

Gladys she yelled, she cussed, she screeched,

Her throat tightened up

as high notes she reached.

Finally the critter turned back to her calf

Leaving Gladys in the mud

flat on her bottom half.

She got to her feet

and hobbled back home,

She was muddy and bloody

and couldn’t help groan.

Her face was scraped raw,

her back was all bruised,

She was definitely feeling

downright ill-used.

And there in the kitchen,

oh heavens above,

Stood the man she had chosen

over others to love.

Gladys sank to a chair

and began her sad tale

And asked her dear hubby,

“Didn’t you hear me wail?”

He grinned, “Yeah, but

a heifer was in trouble,

And I saw you get up

and run off on the double.”

“So I figured you’d heal up

and I’m proud of your pluck,

But now don’t cha think

you should scrub off that muck?

Now Gladys was tired,

she was filthy and smelly,

She had cow-posy goo

on her face and her belly.

There’s times when husbands

should not make a jest

When a wife has been out there

a-doin’ her best.

For Gladys rose up,

a wicked gleam in her eye,

And smeared her dear hubby

with cow-posy pie.

Then she stood on her toes

so she wouldn’t miss

And gave him a smacker

right on his lips.

Then out the door she went

and up the stairs she climbed;

In a warm bubble bath,

she meant to recline.

And hubby heard her exclaim

as she rose out of sight,

“Happy calving to you,

to the cows, and Good Night!”


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