The Three Wise Cows
The second Dotty story by Russell Rosander
It was late at night and I was yawnin’ and noddin’. I was pretty much wilted and thinking of bed. I was just about ready to go lay down and snuggle up with Dotty and drift on over to the other side of the clock.
I was sitting in the parlor of the ’71 Airstream LandYacht when I hear a commotion outside. Things were bangin’ around and tippin’ over. I thought maybe someone was out there, drunker than a skunk, or maybe some sorta wild animal like an javalina.
I looked up at the screen door and I could see several big white shapes like dish towels flappin’ against the screen. At first, I thought of the big white moths, bigger than your hand, that bang up there from time to time looking for the light, but I doubted they were capable of knockin’ over buckets and chairs.
I grabbed my flashlight and pointed it out, and there, to my surprise, were three white brahma cows, starin’ back at me. It was their big floppy ears flappin’ against the screen that got my attention. My flashlight was shinnin’ right in their eyes. I felt like a cop. “Have you been drinkin’ this evening, Sir? Would you please step out of your vehicle?” “Sure officer. But let me hide this beer between the seats first.”
My light startled them and they started movin’ back, knockin’ over another flower pot. I yelled at ‘em to get outta here and watched them leave, stumblin’ over everthing on the patio. I went out behind them and watched them disappear into the darkness. The stars were twinkling’ brightly over head.
The next morning, I went out to see it they were still hangin’ around, but they were nowhere in sight. Just some knocked over stuff and not a single cow pie. The water bucket by the well was knocked over and empty too.
Dotty poured us a glass of orange juice and I put some coffee water on. After the coffee was ready, we sat down at the table and started speculatin’ about the whole affair. I said, “ They were probably just some cows that got out of wherever they were supposed to be, and the vaqueros will probably be comin’ around soon looking for them. Cows are valuable animals and wouldn’t go unmissed for long.”
Dotty said, “Remember yesterday when you were thinking about the word ‘imagination’ and you noticed that the word ‘magi’ was in it? Maybe the cows aren’t ordinary cows but ‘Magicows’, The Three Wise Cows comin’ to give you the gift of magination so you could write this story.”
I was tryin’ to think up some tactful response when she said, “You know what I think? I think they ARE Magicows. I think they were following a communication satellite all the way across Mexico to Barra de Navidad, lookin’ for a newborn baby to bless. It could even be that the baby is the reincarnation of Pancho Villa. It’s true that Pancho Villa did some bad thing, but when he got to the river Jordan, The charioteers made him take a bath with that catharsic soap they make everone use to wash away their sins and cleanse their souls so they’re all clean before they give ‘em the white robes. God gave John the Baptist the recipe cause he figured Jesus was muckin´ around and takin´ himself too seriously and wanted him to take a bath and they’ve been usin´ it ever since. Dr. Bonner tried to make some for people on earth, ‘Dr. Bonner’s Castille Soap’, but it only works on dirt. The real stuff makes you laugh a lot and like to play with little rubber duckies and think kind thoughts about everone.”
I tried to imagine the “Three Wise Cows” following the light of a communication satellite to the manger of a ’71 Airstream LandYacht comin’ to give a dumb little kid tryin’ to write a story a helping hoof. It seemed a little far fetched to me, but I’ve got into trouble before, disputin’ Dotty’s wild ideas.
“ This time Pancho is gonna be a girl and their gonna call her Panchita and she’s gonna pick up the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe and save Mexico from corrupt politicians and narco-trafficers.”
I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. Dotty has a way of leaving me dumb-struck that few people are capable of.
“You shoulda invited them in instead of chasin’ them away. You shoulda givin’ them a drink of water or somethin’. We coulda said that we helped the Three Wise Cows on their journey to find the baby Panchita.”
Two shouldas and a coulda. Way over the top for me. “For your information, they drank all the water in the bucket by the well before they came to the door. Where do you get crazy ideas like that?”
“Well, It’s obvious. What else would three Magi-brahma cows be doin’ comin’ to a town called Navidad which means Christmas, afterall?”
Dotty gets wild ideas sometimes. Well, of course she does. She lives in the imagination. Her whole theory seemed about as possible to me as cows jumping over the moon, but she wasn’t finished.
“Besides, isn’t Brahma the Hindu creator of the universe? She’s probably the one who sent them.
“How do you know Brahma is a she?” I asked.
“Well of course she’s a she. Just look it up in the dictionary.”
I pulled out my old, tattered, 1941 Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. The one I had bought thirty years ago in a thrift shop. The definition didn’t mention gender, but there was one of those little line engravings next to it showin a statue of Brahma sitting lotus style, on a little platform being held up by a duck. There was a crowned head with not one, but four faces, all the same. They did look a little feminine but it was hard to tell. There were four arms stickin’ out holdin’ things. One was a flower, but I couldn’t make out the others. Then I noticed that the figure had large breasts.
“How’d ya like to snuggle up to them cushion, Bubba?” pointed out Dotty. “And four arms to hold you. See, I told you. All of us sucklin’ on the nipples of creation and 1t’s definitely a she!
It brought to mind a friend of mine years ago who’s phone number was listed under the name “Harriet Krisha”. I could see I wasn’t gonna win this one and decided to go for a walk. “What’s the deal with the duck?”, I thought, too late for the repartee.
I walked down the back road towards Barra and turned off on a side road I’d never been down before. I didn’t see any Magicows, but I did find a pasture where there were regular cows and I sat down under a tree.
I don’t really know much about cows, other than what I’ve read in Western novels and what I remember from the cowboy movies I loved as a kid.
There was a cow once that belonged to my neighbors in Idaho that got into my vegetable garden. The cow’s name was “Hamburger” and when it´s time came, Earl and Iona gave me a box of beef to replace the lost produce.
Watching the cows, I could see they spent most of their time eatin’ an’ makin’ cow pies. I seem to remember something’ about cows having seven stomachs, shich may explain how they make compost so fast. Occasionally, one of them would let out a plaintive soundin’ moo. I suspect it’s an expression of some kind of distress like bein’ made to go somewhere they didn’t want to go, or callin’ a calf that was cavortin’ too far away or lettin’ him know she needed him. “Gol-dang-it, Junior, get over here and suck on this thing afore it explodes.
After a while, I headed for home cause it was getting’ kinda hot. I stopped at the store and got somethin’ to cook for dinner. I didn’t buy beef cause I felt a little squeamish about it at the time.
On the way home from the store, I passed the emergency room of the IMSS hospital. I noticed the maintenance guy was sweepin’ up cow turds in front of the door.
“Aha, of course,” I thought. A baby wouldn’t be born in a manger these days. Even really poor people just go to the emergency room these days.
“See, I told you so.” Dotty said the minute I got in the door.
“Dotty,” I said. “All I know is that the cows were here and they were over at the hospital too. The rest of it could be just a bunch of hooey.
“Well, at least my theory offer hope.” She rejoined, “What does your explanation offer? With that, she wouldn’t talk to me for the rest of the day.
I tried to write more of the story but I outta ideas for the present. I was stuck. Even if Dotty was right and there was a Panchita Villa out there, it would take years for that story to unfold.
After I cooked and ate some vegetarian stirfry and noodles, I sat back and read for a while before going to bed.
Just before I nodded off, I heard the water bucket being knocked around. I got up again and looked outside. There they were. I went outside and got the drip bucket from under my icebox and gave that to them too. Then I went back to bed thinking, “Damn, Being rational and logical can sure be boring. I was asleep five minutes later, gone back to the other side of the clock.
That night, I had a dream. I was down the road under the tree by the cow pasture. I could see the cows, still grazing in the silvery blue-light of the moon, but something strange was going on. I could hear them talking to each other, not in human language, but one that I somehow understood.
The cows were communicating with each other, not with words and sound, but telepathically. I was witnessing the secret life of cows. The cows began gatherin’ and circling in the center of the pasture. They were having an Epiphany. An old word that use to mean: “The celebration of the coming of the Magi.”
They were passing information to one another, from cow to cow, pasture to pasture, all the way around the world. They were sayin’ that a special baby was about to be born. They were to choose three emissaries, the Magicows to carry a message to some poor, unsuspecting, innocent baby. They were to get as close as they could to where the baby was being born and speak to the baby in Magicow talk which even infants can understand. They were supposed to plant the seeds of dreams that would grow as the child grew up until it would be able to fulfill it’s special destiny.
I watched as the cows circled the three Magicows and broke off towards the fence in a line. They crowded around a weak fence post and pushed on it until it fell over.
I watched from under the tree as the three Magicows stepped over the broken fence and out of the pasture into the road. They started comin’ down the road towards where I was standin’ and as they got closer, I could see they were being led.
What was leading them was white as snow in the moonlight. I watched the procession move slowly closer until I could see that the Magicows were being led by a waddling, white duck.
They passed me and kept on goin’ down the road and I watched them disappear around the bend.
The next thing I knew, I was awake holding a glass of orange juice. Dotty had gotten up before me and poured it as I sleepwalked to the table.
She knew all about the dream. After all, we share the same brain.
I don’t know where the Magicows went to, who was born or what destiny he or she will fulfill, but I have a hope that it really happens. I do know that there are some babies out there who will grow up to do things that will amaze us, things that will help all of humankind, so maybe it does.
Later that morning, I was out waterin’ the garden and pullin’ weeds. A vaquero came down the road riding high in the saddle with a lariat tied to his pommel.
He halloed me and I halloed him back and I could see it was the patron of a family of vaqueros that are my neighbors. He told me he was looking for three missing white cows.
I told him they had been here during the night.
He tipped his hat and said “Gracias amigo.”, turned around and headed back down the road.