Saturday, December 24, 2011

"If Cows Could Bark" ...A short parable by Quinn O Heder

     On a small farm surrounded by fenced pastures filled with grazing cattle, a lazy hound dog kept watch from his kennel beside a small chicken run, while not far away worked a steady handed farmer to whom the house, fields, cows, dog and barn belonged. Unknown to the farmer, one hapless cow had gotten her foot entangled in a loose strand of barbed wire, and was trying desperately to free herself. The other cows moved freely about the large pasture, eating and mooing to their hearts content, but Penny, as we'll call the struggling cow, suddenly found herself only able to move as far as the sharp wire wrapped around her foot would allow. Several times more, she pulled against the barbs but the tightly wrapped wire only cut deeper, and deeper into her foot, so finally she gave up trying, hoping her loud calling would alert the farmer and bring him to help.
     Long into each night and through the days that followed, Penny raised her voice to the sky, sure that she was important enough that the farmer would leave the thing he was doing and come to her rescue, but to her dismay, he never came. Twice each day he would pause by the gate and gaze affectionately on his herd, before continuing on, but despite her incessant calling, he paid Penny no mind, seeing no reason to even venture near the crippling fence.
     Unable to comprehend the good farmer's lack of sensitivity to her plight, Penny continued her calling until the pain grew unbearable, and no longer able to walk, she could only stand still, while her cries grew ever weaker. Night after night, the farmer emerged from the house to check on the dog whenever the faithful hound began to bark. Once his bowl was without water, while another time he was just cold. A fox ventured near on another night, and several times the barking was prompted by a cat, or passing tumble weed.
“Why?” Penny cried in despair, “...why do you come out anytime he calls and just ignore me?” As the door to the house slapped shut behind the farmer, and the lights dimmed within, Penny sank to the ground, resigned to what ever fate the coming morning had in store.
     At sunrise the following morning, as the farmer paused for his customary gaze into the pasture, he noticed in the growing light that Penny was no longer standing in her usual place. Quickly he crossed the field and climbed over the fence to where she lay groaning in the tall grass.
“Oh Penny!” he cried, noting for the first time her swollen and bleeding leg, “...what have you done?”
“I don't know, but somehow I got caught up in the wire,” she replied, “...and before I knew it, it was so tight I couldn't get free”.
“It's OK,” he soothed, stroking her gently as the end of her life drew near, “...I just can't figure why you wouldn't have let me know you were in trouble, so I could come help you.”
“But I did Farmer, Sir,” she moo'd weakly, “...I called to you night and day, but you didn't hear me over the other cows. 

             Perhaps," she paused, "...if cows could bark.”

     Merry Christmas everybody, ...Please remember in all your doing to be attentive to your seemingly well neighbors and friends, not everybody knows how to ask for help, and in this tumultuous time, there are so many, and they're all around us.  God Bless and keep you,



  1. Thinking of you and your family this Christmas and remembering that the heavenly choir has a new alto. May you have peace and comfort this Christmas season.

    The Nielsens