Demon Cow: A Guest Post


Cedar’s note: This made me cry laughing. It’s easily on par with the late great Patrick McManus, or Lewis Grizzard’s funny stories. Justin graciously gave me permission to share from his original post on social media. Honestly, I have the best friends. 


A Childhood Tale

By Justin Turner

Most people don’t believe the stories I tell, but in all honesty I can’t make this stuff up: let me tell you about the Demon Cow.

People believe that cows are sweet, innocent. big watery-eyed and lovable creatures usually named such things as ‘Annabel’ or ‘Clarabelle’ or the like. Few realize the true infernal evil that is the Bovine. Having dealt with the monstrosities when I was younger has opened my eyes to the truth.

First let me point out: when you are raised on a farm you discover a fundamental truth about animals, especially large farm animals, which is the fact that they require a massive amount of water each day. When the grazing field is absent of water your options are to haul water to the cow (And wait for the cow to tip over the bucket) or lead the cow to water. When you’re an eighty five pound boy your ability to lead an eight hundred pound cow to water is limited, the cow WILL go where it wants when it wants with little care for the small noisy pests trying to convince it otherwise.

Most of these convincing thoughts rotate around the idea of pulling on the lead chain and/or hitting it with a stick. Fun fact, cows have TWO INCHES OF LEATHER ARMOR! Eight year olds are unable to attain sufficient force to harm this great lumbering monster and you are more likely to move the great pyramids than an obstinate cow or stop an avalanche should it not want to.

Should you refuse to let go of the lead chain, the cow (Which still has the armor) always has the option of: running through the local briar patch, against the Barbed wire fence or into the local bee’s nest. Having no armor ourselves this led me and my brothers to go through childhood with the appearance of poorly ground hamburger.

It was a blistering hot august day when James gained the bright idea of wrapping the chain around his waist to keep the cow from running off.

Can you see trouble on the horizon?

This was James’ first mistake, it would not (Thankfully) be his last.

His second mistake was to tie the lead chain in a manner not quickly removed; his third mistake was to startle the cow forcing it into a solo stampede, his fourth and almost terminal mistake was in attempting to ‘Stop’ said stampede.

Instead of simply waiting for the monster to run out of steam, or working diligently to un-tether himself from the rampaging beast my younger brother decided to grab a tree and quickly wrap the chain around it, forcing a halt to the animal’s near ballistic path.

It was a simple misjudgment in speed as James rushed head ‘Into’ the tree instead of around it, the impact took him off his feet and actually knocked him unconscious. The cow oblivious in the change of it’s follower continued to drag him for the three hundred yards it took for me and Jacob to force it to a halt.

Freeing James, we were happy to see him breathing and surprisingly devoid of major damage. It took us several minutes to rouse our younger brother who, when finally awakened,  groaned as he sat up only to find his resting place strategically placed over a freshly placed cow pie.

Glaring at the retreating form of the monster, James grumbled several vile oaths towards the creature’s parentage that he was not currently supposed to have heard, before retrieving a strong stick and setting out in pursuit of his foe.

The pursuit lasted several hours as my brothers and I continued the hunt for the monster that drifted aimlessly through the back woods of North Carolina, leading us through hornet’s nests and briars aplenty and leaving a cleverly disguised Manure minefield in its wake before we finally cornered it at the top of a three story drop into a muck filled swamp. In a last desperate act of defiance the Cow leapt from the edge and with a sickening slurping sound disappeared up to its chin into the muck where it waited with an evil grin on it’s face.

Staring down at the nearly submerged creature my brothers and I came to the realization that we could either haul the monster from the swamp, or force it under and claim we never saw it.

As an aside note, three eight year olds are not heavy enough to force a cows head under; as such it took us four hours to dig the cow out. This was then aggravated by the cow making a mad lunge for freedom once again as soon as it had cleared the muck. Remember the cow had been mostly resting at this point, where as we where exhausted from the digging.

As fortune would have it, Jacob managed to get a loop of rope around the monster’s leg and we quickly entangled the other legs so as to keep it still. Of course the idea that three eighty five pound boys are able to drag said eight hundred pound monster is beyond absurd and should be stricken from the thoughts of anyone even considering it. We managed to explain this to James in no uncertain terms.

As we were continuing to ponder the fate of the cow it struck me that  using the rope and the lead chain we could tie one onto a tree to keep it from escaping and the force the cow to the limits of the ropes range before tying the second rope around another tree, thus always keeping the monster bound to something somewhat more sturdy then a small meat anchor.

While time consuming, this process proved successful and eventually we managed to get the cow returned to its proper place within the confines of the fence.

Congratulating ourselves on a job well done my brothers and I retired to the house where we would cackle gleefully as we devoured several pounds of hamburgers, at least until we realized to our horror that we had never actually gotten the cow to the water.

The ‘Cow’ lived a nice long life terrorizing us for the remainder of our younger years. It’s final act of defiance before passing on from this mortal realm was to somehow scale a twenty foot tree and hang itself from the branches above. This led to a great amount of head scratching puzzlement by the local fire department as they tried to figure out how to get a Cow out of a tree and whether or not this was a public service they were willing to attempt.



11 responses to “Demon Cow: A Guest Post”

  1. Reading is MindJoy Avatar
    Reading is MindJoy

    The “real” world from a different perspective. Enjoyable reading.

  2. A related note:
    it is very embarrassing, as a Big Girl of eight, to be beaten up by a calf that is all of two or three months old.

    And even cowboys don’t respect that the baby cow still out weighs you, because it doesn’t weigh as much as a post-95 pickup truck.

    1. See, this is why I’m kind of glad we raised goats, not cows. Although they will still run right over you…

      1. With goats, folks believe you!

        1. McChuck Avatar

          With goats, you can adjust their behavior with a small ball peen hammer.

    1. You’re a polite cow/man/minotaur. You wouldn’t tease small children like that, would you now?

      1. Like that? No. }:o)

  3. John in Philly Avatar
    John in Philly

    Most Philadelphia city boys didn’t spend a summer working on a farm operated by a State of Pennsylvania Mental Hospital like I did.
    I walked to work from my parent’s Philadelphia row house.
    The farm supplied a large part of the food prepared in the facility, and included a dairy.
    Everything in the story about cows is absolutely true, and I will add that you become used to the subtle perfume of cow but when you walk in the door at home your family doesn’t appreciate the aroma.

  4. Old NFO Avatar
    Old NFO

    I’m just glad it wasn’t a longhorn, the Longhorn would’ve had the boys for “earrings” hanging off the end of his horns… Not that I’ve had one try to do that to me… Sigh

  5. Margaret Ball Avatar
    Margaret Ball

    Oh, what memories that brings back! My college friends never could understand why I lacked enthusiasm for their recurring fantasy of “let’s get a piece of land and live simply by subsistence farming.” I did try to explain about having been forced to tour large sections of Oklahoma while theoretically “leading” the grandparents’ damn cow.