Sunday, March 13, 2016

Walking my cow through a million dollar house

I got an email inquiring whether I rented cows;  I do supply animals from time to time for commercials and for films and shorts, and figured that this was one of those ocassions.  I'd guess about 1/3rd of the inquiries actually turn out to be something, so I didn't think much of it.
Officer, I'd like to report a suspicious cow
What did you want the cow for?  Well, it turned out that they had just purchased a house, and that when a cow enters a new house first good things follow - it's their religious belief.

Ok -- is the house on a level entrance, or are there stairs?  Does it have any sort of grates or drainage on the walk up to the door?  there won't be any dogs, right?  How long do you expect to need the cow?

They wanted the cow to be at their new house at 5:30am, and they needed her for what they figured would be a half-hour or so.
one scarf for the cow, one for her calf
 We agreed on a price, and a date, and I loaded up the cow on the day and drove the cow and her calf into downtown seattle, to Queen Anne hill.  I knew the neighborhood; I'd live about 4 blocks away form this house during part of my childhood.  It was interesting being back there after all these years.
I've edited out the person (white rectangle on the right) but you can see the view. 
I couldn't park anywhere near the house; I ended up finding a spot about 6 blocks away, and because of the distance I left the calf in the trailer.  This particular cow I hand-raised and have been milking now for 3 years; she's gentle, calm and is halter-broken and leads very well.   And she trusts me, so even though this was an odd, novel thing (which in a cows eyes is BAD BAD BAD, cows love routine above all else) she was game, and I walked her to the house.

They did a ceremony outside the house, and I thought i was done, but they really did want to lead the cow through the house, and so in the front door she went, and around and around the house at least 3 times, and then it was done, and I made my exit.

Cow had been away from her calf for 45 minutes, and about halfway back to the trailer she decided she needed to run, and off we went.  I had her on a long lead, and I wrapped one end around a telephone pole as we went by; that got her to stop, and we both looked at one another for a few minutes; she, with the flat bovine inscrutable gaze, and me with the concern that she might run off again and I'd show up on the morning news ("cow loose on queen anne!  schools on lockdown!") but after a few minutes we made the rest of the walk back to the trailer and she was glad to see her calf, and jumped right in.

All in all a fun trip and nice to experience a little bit of a different culture and religion.  I thought about it as I drove back; I don't have cows in my house, but in effect I do serve the cows and pigs every day.

The lady of the house said this "We're an agrarian society transplanted", and I think that's interesting.  In my farming I've done the opposite.  Where most folks don't live with their livestock they make a major part of my daily life.


grasspunk said...

Too funny - I used to live in Queen Anne too but I'd never seen a cow there.

Tervpack said...

Neat story. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Great story! Do you care to share any more details? Specifically which culture? And how much did you get paid?
I used to charge too little for my time, but I find myself charging much more now that I have a family and more demands on my time.

Bruce King said...

I charged them $500 for the home-cow visit; it seems excessive, but it took me away from my operation for most of my waking hours, and I had to get up at 3am to make it all happen, so it really affected my working and sleep for a couple of days.

plus, given the address and price of the house, I figured they'd pay it.

They're hindu; the term "sacred cow" is derived from the religion I believe.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bruce! That is exactly what I would have charged when I thought about it, which you are right, coming from a rural background does seem excessive, but again, our time is precious.
Hindu, interesting.