I’ve spent a good portion of my working life tending hamburger on the hoof. This summer, I hope to again make the pilgrimage to central Idaho where, 40 years ago, my daughter and I lived in a teepee with an Airstream cookshack on a spit of land along the shores of Cascade Reservoir in the Salmon River Mountains. We drank directly from Arling Creek, kept four horses, and watched over 1,500 head of heifers and light steers that roamed the hills where today rich folks try to outbid each other for million dollar second homes. In honor of those sweet, sweet days of yore, I’ve researched other peoples’ thoughts on the subject of cows.

“Cows are amongst the gentlest of breathing creatures; none show more passionate tenderness to their young when deprived of them, and, in short, I am not ashamed to profess a deep love for these quiet creatures.” — Thomas de Quincey

“To my mind, the only possible pet is a cow. Cows love you. They will listen to your problems and never ask a thing in return. They will be your friends forever. And when you get tired of them, you can kill and eat them. Perfect.” — Bill Bryson

“All the really good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.” — Grant Wood

“As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.” — Joan Gussow

“A cow is a very good animal in the field, but we turn her out of a garden.” — Samuel Johnson

“The cow is of the bovine ilk; One end is moo, the other, milk.” — Ogden Nash

“I guess cows aren’t into the four food groups, especially when they are two of them.” — Anthony Clark

“All is not butter that comes from the cow.” — Proverb

“There comes a time in the affairs of life when one must take the bull by the tail and face the situation.” — W. C. Fields

“Scientists tell us that the fastest animal on earth, with a top speed of 120 feet per second, is a cow that has been dropped out of a helicopter.” — Dave Barry

“Parties who want milk should not seat themselves on a stool in the middle of the field in hopes that the cow will back up to them.” — Elbert Hubbard

“A mind of the caliber of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Some people are uncomfortable with the idea that humans belong to the same class of animals as cats and cows and raccoons. They’re like the people who become successful and then don’t want to be reminded of the old neighborhood.” — Phil Donahue

“The cow is nothing but a machine which makes grass fit for us people to eat.” — John McNulty

“Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.” — Proverb

“Sacred cows make the best hamburgers.” — Mark Twain

“Who was the first guy that looked at a cow and said, ‘I think that I’ll drink whatever comes out of those things when I squeeze them?’” — Bill Watterson

“Milk the cow, but do not pull off the udder.” — Greek proverb

“If happiness truly consisted in physical ease and freedom from care, then the happiest individual would not be either a man or a woman; it would be, I think, an American cow.” — William Lyon Phelps

“Whoever needs milk, bows to the animal.” — Yiddish saying

“The human body has no more need for cows’ milk than it does for dogs’ milk, horses’ milk, or giraffes’ milk.” — Michael Klaper

“Tongue — a variety of meat, rarely served because it clearly crosses the line between a cut of beef and a piece of a dead cow.” — Bob Ekstrom

“I’d rather kiss a mad cow on the muzzle than a smoker on the mouth.” — Paul Carvel

“I go about looking at horses and cattle. They eat grass, make love, work when they have to, bear their young. I am sick with envy of them.” — Sherwood Anderson

“There’s nothing like sitting back and talking to your cows.” — Russell Crowe

“There’s something about getting up at 5 a.m., feeding the stock and chickens, and milking a couple of cows before breakfast that gives you a lifelong respect for the price of butter and eggs.” — Bill Vaughan

“Custard: A detestable substance produced by a malevolent conspiracy of the hen, the cow, and the cook.” — Ambrose Bierce

“He who lets the goat be laid on his shoulders is soon after forced to carry the cow.” — Italian proverb

“Greatness alone in not enough, or the cow would outrun the hare.” — Proverb

“Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.” — Dennis Wholey

“The mere brute pleasure of reading — the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing.” — Lord Chesterfield

“I paint from the top down. From the sky, then the mountains, then the hills, then the houses, then the cattle, and then the people.” — Grandma Moses

“There exists no politician in India daring enough to attempt to explain to the masses that cows can be eaten.” — Indira Gandhi

———

J.D. Smith is an accomplished writer and jack-of-all-trades. He lives in Athena.

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