Tell Me Where the Cows Are

by Kitty Boots

Long legs, tiny body, I held him and asked, "Where are my cows?" My mother looked at me and said, "Where the hell did you hear that?" (transplanted Yankee, my mom.)

I couldn't remember. Maybe at school. I talked about animals and things with my friend, Dorothy. She was a Mennonite and we skipped rope together. She lived on a farm and her family raised sheep. We used to follow her father and brothers through the pasture with buckets to catch the tails they cut off from spring lambs.

Maybe Mr. Tench told me. He let me help bottle-feed orphaned calves. Greedy, noisy, they sucked like there was no tomorrow and followed you around the pasture moaning for more.

Daddy Long-Legs

They gather in clusters on my porch this time of year, make their way into the house. I'm watched when I wash dishes, take a shower. There always seems to be one in a corner. If I don't want the company, I gently tap my foot. He moves in the other direction. 

When I worked in the warehouse, Donna told me to put my tape gun in the drawer when I finished my shift, otherwise, "The Daddy Long-Legs all get over it and they get stuck."

So, I rescue them, ask them where the cows are, think of Dorothy in her dark purple dress, net cap, neat braids, and dusty lace-up boots in the playground.