Quest for cows

Published 9:58 pm Thursday, September 29, 2011

There aren’t many things I ask of this life. While my girth might suggest otherwise, my needs are minimal.

I pretty much work from sunup until well past sundown and, generally, I’m OK with that. As long as I know there’s something to eat at the end of the day and a moment to watch “Operation Repo” or something before I doze off to sleep, I’m pretty much a happy camper.

Being able to squeeze so very much out of life’s little moments makes me a pretty laid-back person.

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There are those who find this character trait of mine to be inspiring. Sometimes, when tensions are high, not so much. But my ability to do so was the inspiration for my latest quest.

I recently took a trip to the New England area, somewhere I haven’t been before, unless you count the time I rode there with a truck driver friend. And when you’re hauling 2,000 pounds of frozen meat, there’s no time for leisure.

This time, I wanted New England clam chowder, or as they call it there, chow-da. I wanted a lobster roll, mainly because I’m sick of hearing about how awesome they are on the Food Network and not getting any. But, my primary goal, simple as it may be, was to see a cow.

When I told co-workers here at the News-Herald my simple goal, I was met with a look I often receive that suggests something’s not quite right with me. Moreover, a couple of them said I could see a cow right here in my own backyard. And while that’s true, I’d never seen a New England cow. So, this was a special quest, no matter how simple or weird it may have seemed.

When I arrived in the pouring rain of Massachusetts, I began building slowly, though relentlessly, toward my goal of seeing and perhaps even posing with a cow in a New England pasture. Since I don’t have a smart phone with an iCow app, I would have to find cows the old-fashioned way. Sheer serendipity would have to guide me.

After all, I wasn’t about to go around this proud little hamlet in Massachusetts asking where the cows were so I could get a photo with my arms wrapped around it. I’m not sure how much jail time one can get for that.

On the third day, I still had not lost hope. Even if I didn’t find the cows, I’d already had chowder, a lobster roll and salmon teriyaki. (It wasn’t on my list, but I don’t go anywhere without trying the Chinese food.) I knew there had to be cows somewhere.

And then, on my way back from a riverside bookstore, there they were, two beautiful, majestic, black-and-white spotted cows.

They were just as I’d pictured them, lying in a pasture in someone’s front yard. And even though I lost my lens cap in the excitement of seeing those marvelous creatures, my quest was complete. I had a photo of cows, even though barbed wire and a curiously pungent smell prevented me from posing with them.

It might seem simple, but how often do you get to see a cow, the giver of all things wonderful — like steaks, burgers and cold milk to wash down a nice piece of cake.

If you don’t find something awesome about seeing cows in a pasture, you’ve lost sight of the little things that make life worth living.