Cow



There are elegies to churchyards, and odes to nightingales.
Poets fairly flop for joy regarding humpbacked whales.
The Raven got its shot from Poe, Disney sainted Bambi,
And horses! Horses are in every media there can be.
Shakespeare praised the ouzel cock, Burns the lowly louse.
Kafka had his cockroach, and Mickey is a mouse.

But for the average person, guys like you and me,
a nightingale does nothing much but twitter in a tree.
Deer, unless you shoot 'em; lice, unless you got some;
Whales, unless you're Ishmael, are all just so much flotsam.
I'm not against our furry friends--Mother Nature and her ilk,
I just think the time has come to praise the source of milk.

So let us now behold the cow, the world's foremost ruminant.
In Nature's scaly, furry sphere, this bovine star is luminant.
She makes a gentle lowing, her mood is always mellow,
she never bites, she rarely kicks, she has a pleasant smell-o.
Pigs are grubby, horses kick, and chickens irritating,
but cows just calmly chew their cud while blissfully lactating.

You'd almost think, to see a cow, now there's a waste of flesh.
But don't let Bossy's gentle mien convince you she's not presh-us.
For inside are four stomachs, churning sixty pounds of hay
into butter, ice cream, cheese and milk, and part café au lait.
Besides perhaps the loathsome goat, whose smell could make you sick,
the cow's the only beast on earth to do that special trick.

And when her days are over, when we've sucked her dry,
we grind her into burger meat and slap her on to fry.
Her skin gets tanned and treated, and stitched up into shoes.
You can't do that with chickens, friend, as wallets they're the blues.
So let's all take a moment here to praise the simple cow.
She's man's best friend, a noble beast, a godsend here and now.

When they take the roll up yonder, when the Big Guy plays his hand,
St. Peter's going to ask you what you did for your fellow man.
Who among us, standing there, beneath God's golden bough,
can honestly say we did as much as every single cow?

© Greg Palmer