Ode to a Cow
By Cris Paravicini
Come on all you cowboys and gather 'round me now.
I'll tell to you the story of a good, ol' momma cow.
Her tough, old hide was velvet black, her manners very good.
Her progeny was aptly raised, of course, the way she should.
It was early in the morning, just at the break of day.
A ghastly storm was on us. It was the First of May.
The snow was being driven by a southern, angry force.
And nothing in its path today would be left alive, of course.
We saddled up at daybreak; to the boss we gave a wave,
Then turned into the blizzard, some little calves we'd try to save.
The snow was deep, 'twas heavy and wet, it reached my horse's knees.
Poor, little calves, if you're born today, let your moms have you in
A cow out in the distance stood hunched up on the willows.
Our longing glance to the ranch house viewed warm, chimney-smoke billows.
A fragile, little newborn in a storm like this,
Would probably be frozen, of this I could not miss.
As I most cautiously approached the frigid, windswept pair,
I could see the little Angus calf had been given extra care.
All licked till dry and both fronts sucked, asleep up under a bank,
Earns a tip of my hat to the cow and her calf and thought of the Lord,
I'd thank. . .
Again, it's early in the morning and the grass is green and lush.
As we open up the meadow gate, the cows all make a rush.
For it is as usual, when we turn them out the gate,
Seems the cows are always in the lead and their calves are always late.
A cowboy in the lead tries to hold the mommas back,
As they push for summer pasture, green grass they seem to lack.
And back there in the wheel, a bunch of riders yell,
At the mass of baby calves whose numbers seem to swell.
But in amongst the orphan lot, a big, black form appears.
It's the gentle, good, ol' momma cow that puts to rest our fears.
For we know that she will surely take, her calf and others, too,
And coax them down the dusty trail to where the eagle flew. . .
Another frosty, early morn', and toward the weaning corral we ride.
See there, amid a sea of black, is Old Momma with daughter at her side.
For today we close the final page on this cow and calf pair,
And wean the nice, big heifer that was raised so very fair.
Now, cowboys let me tell you, and you'll be glad to know,
That heifer's now a momma and in the willows when it snows.
And no matter where we go and everywhere we ride,
We are sure to see that good, ol' cow with her offspring at her side.