APRIL 21, 1997
Moonbeam, the gentle cow, has been joined in her Valley pasture by her calf, Sunbeam.
Photo by Oscar Roloff.
by Oscar Roloff
Really, many men are just like kids who hate to grow up. Both age groups like to fiddle with tinkertoys and other assembling items. Age makes no difference. For example, let's take Paul Waterman, 83, and Gary Vig, 58.
For many a recent breakfast morn, Paul would sit at his table, looking out of the window at his empty pasture. The landscape lacked something, he mused, such as a cow or two. He liked cows, always did. But those four-legged creatures are becoming scarce in the area. Verbotten.
An idea emerges
Paul knew Gary Vig and his capabilities in many a venture. He was a skilled craftsman from tinkertoys on up. Had been a cow milker, too.
"Gary, old buddy," Paul said, "I need a cow in my pasture." Wasn't long until Paul could look out of his window and chuckle about the cow he now had. A gift from Gary. I think they named her Moonbeam. My photos of her covered many papers.
One morning Paul was gazing at his immovable cow when another thought rose. He called Gary.
"Say, old friend," he phoned to Gary. "What that mama cow lacks is a calf," and added, "Suckling from its mama." Gary grabbed his tools, secured an old oil drum and other metal, and began banging and cutting away.
A true twosome
Happy as a kid playing marbles, Paul now looks out of his window to note with joy a calf suckling from his mama's teats.
I recall an earlier day when I sat under that darn cow and tried to milk her. No luck. Not even a drop of milk. Thus, I wish the calf better luck. I think the young 'un's name is Sunbeam. A nice name for a suckling calf.
Paul now seems satisfied as he eats his breakfast and wonders how the calf is doing, breakfast-wise, that is.
I wouldn't underestimate that canny Paul. He'll come up with something else. I'll bet his metal-bending buddy will oblige. They are a pair of cronies who look at life as it should be lived. Full of fun and screwy things.
One day, I stopped at Paul's roadside to ask a parked driver what he thought of those two four-legged critters. The man, one of many gawker geezers I saw parking and shaking their heads, said, "Milk cows are a 'no-no' in the area and it looks as if those two have escaped the noose. We all smile in 'udder' happiness that a couple of zany characters can come up with such a crazy caper. We need more men like that."
As that driver pulled away, another stopped and got out with a pair of binoculars and asked, "Is that calf a male?"
Sheepishly I stammered, "Gosh, I failed to look down to see if there was a dangling participle. Why do you ask?" I stammered again.
"Why, you dumb nut!" he said. (That's okay--I've been called worse than that.) "If that calf is a male, he'll grow up and become a bull, and before you know it, there will be a pasture full of metal cows, and the creator will be out of a job."
I was so puzzled by that statement that I went home and went to bed to think that one over. At least, I should have bent down to see if Gary had welded anything there. (Remember in school when our teachers taught us to beware of dangling participles, and I've forgotten what those are, too.)