A Cow Olympics

Diane Prather
Pipi's Pasture

Just yesterday I was down at the corral, sitting on a bale of hay and waiting for the stock tank to fill with water. The cows were just behind me in the corral where they were munching on their usual afternoon serving of hay.

Kitty, my granddaughter’s older 4-H cow, was “talking,” as is her habit. (I have written about Kitty before.) However, this time, instead of a loud, demanding bawl, her voice was low and more conversational. Perhaps she was saying, in cow talk: “This is good hay today,” or “Keep your mouth away from my leaves,” or even “Keep your distance.” Who knows? But, also as usual, there was plenty of shoving, partly instigated by Kitty, as the more dominant cows worked out a feeding arrangement.

As I listened to the activity going on behind me, I thought about the cows’ habits of shoving and other stuff, and then, because I have been watching some of the Olympics, I amused myself by wondering what events a person might see at a Cow Olympics. (Can you imagine cows wearing medals around their necks?)

So here goes. A medal might be awarded to a cow in competition if she can…

  • Jump the highest when soaring over the top of a fence, while not touching the top wire. (If she touches the top wire, she’s disqualified.)
  • Crawl through the space between the barbed wire above and mashed- down woven wire below to get from one side to the other in the fastest time without leaving hair on the wire.
  • When in a tug-of-war with another cow over a bale of hay, pull the bale over a line. (If the bale breaks, the game is over.)
  • Push another cow the farthest away from the feed.
  • Lift the heaviest bale with her teeth.
  • Pull the most bales off the flatbed.
  • Push a chain used to close a metal gate upwards enough to open the gate and do it in the fastest time.
  • When being turned out of a corral with others, jump the highest while running. Extra credit points are awarded to the cows that kick up their heels in the process.
  • Be the first to call her calf across a creek without moving toward the calf. (Ear plugs are required for spectators.)
  • Be the first to roll a mineral lick tub (full of mineral) into the creek.
  • Be the first to bend a steel post while rubbing on it.
  • Slide down a slick hill to the water hole in the creek and skate to water without falling down. Extra points are awarded if the cow can perform a spinning move while skating.
  • Cause the most cows to turn back while blocking their pathway into a stock trailer.
  • Win a tug-of-war over a mineral lick tub while not turning it over. (If the tub gets turned upside down, the game is over.)
  • Reach designated grass by pushing her head under the fence without breaking the wire.

One thing is for sure: it doesn’t take much to amuse me when I have to wait for the stock tank to fill with water.

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