snowball

My children grew up thinking I knew everything because I came from the farm.  It is an easy mistake to make, people frequently turn to farmers for answers, knowing that we are wise in the ways of the wheat and the cow.  Sometimes I wish I had been a city girl so that I could just walk the streets like normal and not be constantly sought out for my wisdom.  It is such a burden.  Like I can never ever live on the top of a mountain.

My kids would ask me, “What kind of crop is that mommy?”  They turned to me for everything.  So naturally when they saw a white cow, they asked, “What do you call a white cow mommy?

My answer?

Snowball, of course.

Snowball was not a race horse, no matter how wildly popular that song was.  Snowball was, and will always be, for me … a white cow.

I don’t know why they say, “a Snowballs chance in hell” … I grew up in hell and let me tell you Snowball could have had a chance even though it was a whiteout in the wheat field and the combine did not have snow tires.   Poor “Snowball “… she was a good cow …..  She was a heifer amongst gerbels.

Still . . . she had a chance.  She could have been born a different colour if she had just put her mind to it, or if her mother hadn’t had her heart set on that albino bull in the neighbouring field.  Snowball could have run faster, she could have not been so eager to find out what was in the back of that big truck …. she could have leapt from the truck instead of sticking her head over the side and making funny faces in the wind with the rest of the cows.  Snowball could have attended church more regularly and mattered more to God …. all these things were within her abilities if she had just tried.

I often wonder if she had just been named something different … like “Binkster” or “Fluffy” … then maybe the hell card would not have been on the table at all.  What if her name had been “Moo-Moo?”  Wow if it had been and things still turned out the way they did, that would explain a lot about all those old women in the senior retirement villages in Florida and how bad they said that place was.

But yes, Snowball died and I like to think Hell gave her some kind of chance….being as she was a good cow and often helped the tipped cows when they were down and out. The funeral was very sad … it was one of those rare moments when a whole community paused to reflect on how the law of the land demanded the best of us, taking no prisoners, but eventually taking us all home. I could hear the land gently laughing and strangely, I could also hear Aunt Hilda singing a really inappropriate sea shanty even though when she was still alive she only sang football songs. The cows gathered to reflect on the severity of life on the prairie and then it was time to go …..the cattle liner was waiting to take them all in to the meat packing plant …

We were having a barbeque.

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