A longtime friend runs an online magazine in central California, which has a huge agricultural and farming demographic.
A few years ago she asked me to write a humor column, so I did, and I wanted to target it for that audience. Below is my first submission, but before that is the introduction we decided on for her readers.
Dave lives in San Francisco, California and runs what some people call a “humor blog,” although not everyone agrees on that assessment. He has ties to the Kings River area because he stole one of their women over twenty years ago and refuses to give her back.
Kings River Life Editor, Lorie Lewis Ham, is a close friend of Dave and the woman he stole, which is painfully obvious in that she asked him to contribute to this site.
An Interview With Area Cow, Mooble Hoofer.
I’m a big fan of cows and not ashamed to admit it.
This is because I’m a fan of dairy products. I don’t drink milk but I enjoy cheese, a cup of cottage cheese, a nice yogurt, or a delicious chocolate bar, all of which wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for our nation’s milk production.
Whenever I visit the lovely agricultural area south of Fresno, I can’t zoom down the highways connecting the small towns of the nation’s fruit basket without rolling down the window and tossing an appreciative wave at the nation’s cows as they graze in the nation’s fields.
Sometimes I’ll even pull the car over if the nation’s cows are standing close to the fence, and I’ll smile at my bovine sisters and say, “Thanks for the milk!” They happily flip their tails in response to this and chew their cud a little faster as if to speed up production because FINALLY, someone appreciates them!
“Happy cows make for happy yogurt,” I always say.
And cottage cheese, regular cheese, chocolate bars, and… you get the picture.
I sat down in one of these fields to catch up with Mooble Hoofer, a longtime resident of Kardu Dairy Farm and “grand old dame of the meadow.”
ME: First of all, thank you very much for seeing me on such short notice, Mrs. Hoofer.
MH: Oh you’re welcome, sweetie, and it’s just Miss. Cows are not allowed to marry even though we are in California. We’re still pretty far south of San Francisco.
ME: Good to know. So I guess I’ll get right to it. Do you enjoy being a dairy cow?
MH: I do, I do! I get plenty to eat all day long and I don’t have to exercise much. They frown on that, actually. All I have to do is stand around and squirt my milk into a machine every day. That’s it. Pretty easy job.
ME: People drive by all day long and aside from random little kids who toss you a wave now and then, you’re pretty much ignored. Does that make you feel unappreciated?
MH: Listen, I’ve had my children and even though I don’t know where they are and they never write, I’m just glad to be providing all young folk with something nutritious that they need. Sure it can be a thankless job but once in a while, a reporter comes around who wants to interview us and raise cow awareness. Thank you!
ME: You mean I’m not the first?
MH: Oh dear me no, you’re not even the biggest. Ever heard of TIME?
ME: The magazine?
MH: Yes, and National Geographic. They each brought a photographer and bought me lunch.
ME: You stand in a field and eat grass.
MH: Not when they came, I didn’t.
ME: So, Miss Hoofer, tell me a little about your family history.
MH: Well, let’s see, I’m a Holstein so my ancestors were German Moononites who settled this area in the late 1800s. We’ve been providing milk here for well over a hundred years and we have a proud tradition of continuing to do so.
ME: That’s wonderful! Now, how about those kids you just mentioned? You said they never write and that’s just awful. Kids these days, huh? But tell us a little about them. They’re names, what they’re like, and so on.
MH: Well, let’s see… Johnny was the first and he was quite a little rebel! Always wandering off to greener pastures but I’m forever indebted to that little scamp because he started my milk production career.
Then there was Barney, Jack,Ted, Sara, Frank, Gretchen, Holly, Buck, Richard and Dennis. They were pretty much normal kids. Barney was a little unusual, he was right after Johnny. He was a little, how should I say it? Geeky? Is that what we call it?
Well, the bigger males picked on him, I’m afraid. But the last I heard he’s fathered fifty-two grand-cattle for me, so I guess he’s shown up all those naysayers and bullies!
ME: What do you do for fun, Miss Hoofer?
MH: Fun? What’s that?
She laughed and swished her tail.
Dear me, I don’t get much time off, except in the evenings I guess. I’ll wander over to the south pasture and visit with my old friend, Martha Fleason. She and I have a lot in common, you know?
My Eddie once mated with her Isabel but the poor little offspring had two heads. I guess it’s not so bad since Chuck gets to travel with a carnival and see all these great little towns across America.
She laughed and swished again.
ME: She named him “Chuck?”
MH: Oh yes, she almost named him “Chimera,” based on the mythical Greek creature composed of multiple parts of different animals, but first of all, Chimera was really scary, and second, she thought it might be a little too esoteric for the average visitor to a county fair, so Chuck is what she went with.
Also, having two heads is kind of lucky in a way, because he gets to see twice as much.
ME: Wait… How in the heck does your friend Isabel, a dairy cow, know so much about Greek mythology?
MH: When she found out a large quantity of her milk production was going toward the manufacture of Greek-style yogurt, she decided to learn as much as she could about the culture.
At this point, a loud whistle blew and Miss Hoofer’s tail stopped swishing.
Oh dear, that’s the milking whistle! I must go! My udder is bursting at the seams, but it’s been wonderful talking to you, dear. Although next time you should really think about treating a girl to lunch.
The author of this piece, DW Rhodes, now has San Francisco’s neighborhood called “Cow Hollow” – due to its multitude of dairy farms in the 1800s – as his closest connection to cows. Today, the only cow in “Cow Hollow” can be found at Mel’s Drive-In on Lombard Street, on the plate in front of you, next to the baked potato.
For that reason, this is likely the only time DW Rhodes will ever write about cows.
Shout out to Kings River Life and Lorie Lewis Ham.