I have always been fascinated by the possibility of talking to animals. Like most ranchers, sheepherders and pig persons, I feel I have this special ability to know what animals are thinking and often I seem to communicate better with cattle and sheep than I do my wife. Don’t lock me in the looney bin, but I feel strongly that animals speak to us. Oh, they may not use the proper syntax and pronunciation but when they say arf arf, meow, moo or baa, I feel they are trying to tell us something. About the only reason I’d like to live another 100 years is because I bet that in that time frame, using computers, translators and decoder rings, we’ll be able to ask animals questions and get back answers. But I won’t be around, so please ask these questions for me.
I’d like to ask a donkey if he’s offended when we call a politician by his family name? I want to know what breed of dogs that sheep hate the most and I’d like to know chicken’s innermost thoughts, if they have any. I’d ask pigs if they believe in God and, if so, what religion are they? Also, to what political party would most hogs belong if they could join? (Although sometimes I think they already have.) I’d like to ask a sow nursing 12 babies if, given the opportunity, she didn’t ever want to just sneak away in the dark of night? I’d also like to know how they feel about their heart valves being used to save people they didn’t even know, or were related to, and if they’d voluntarily fill out an organ donor card if they could?
I have a ton of questions I’d like to ask dairy cattle. Such as… Do you consider milking machines foreplay and do they turn you on? When a milker strips your teats do you feel violated? How do you feel about artificial insemination and would you outlaw it if you could? Do you understand Spanish or English better? I’d like to ask a Mad Cow if she really does feel crazy and I’d follow up with, “Are you the brains behind PETA because it sure seems like it?”
I hate to pry but I’d love to ask dogs when they are watching television if they have a favorite show and if they don’t think “Dancing With The Stars” is really lame? Whenever I see an urban dweller pick up dog poop and place it in a plastic bag I’d love to ask the dog if he or she wasn’t laughing his or her socks off. And did they do it more often just to watch? Whenever I see a poodle with one of those spiffy hairdos I’d love to ask if they didn’t feel stupid, or, if other dogs made fun of them? When I see dogs dressed in clothes I’d love to ask if they have a favorite designer? “Just between you and me,” I’d ask, “don’t cats really get on your nerves?” I know that dogs really are man’s best friend but I’d love to ask a Border Collie, “Am I really the best you can do for a friend?”
If given the choice between interrogating a horse or Hitler I’d pick the equine every time. The first question I’d ask a horse is if, when they see an obese person coming at them with a bridle in their hand, don’t they get the sudden urge to run like the wind? I’ve always been curious if horses prefer women to men because it sure seems that way. I’d ask trail driving horses if they like cowboy poetry, I’d poll Quarter Horses to determine if they prefer heading or heeling, and I’d ask a herd of wild mustangs if they didn’t think thoroughbreds were snooty and overbearing?
I’d query beef cows in a pasture if they ever had their eye on a certain bull and if another bull made love to them were they disappointed they’d have to wait until next year? I’d ask bulls if they have a favorite auctioneer, if cows know it’s Christmas, and how do they feel about Al Gore and meatless Mondays? I’d ask what they think of livestock shows, if they preferred FFA or 4-H owners, and do they know what’s coming at the end of their lives? The one question I’d love to ask all meat animals is, “Would you have rather lived to become someone’s supper, or to never have lived at all?”
I think I already know the answer to that one.
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A pasture or lot with plenty of grass or bedding and windbreak is important when calving in the cold.