Everyone thinks cows are stupid, but since I was 16 I’ve known they were much brighter than people give them credit for being.
Every hot July day I think of my sixteenth summer when I discovered that cows had at least some intelligence. Our family had moved onto Main Street earlier that year to an old home with a large lot that ran behind Morris Mercantile. (I will Blog about that move some other time, there was some adventure involved in that.) My Mom planted a large garden in the lot behind the store and that July we had quite a few watermelons ripening on their vines. My brothers and I kept asking Mom if we could pick a watermelon and see if it was ripe yet and day after day she kept telling us they weren’t ready. We must have about pestered her to death with our appeals to eat watermelon from the garden. The Merc had a great variety of junk food and candy to purchase, but at our house you wouldn’t find treats in the cupboards. The best cereal we ever had was Raisin Bran, we usually had soaked whole wheat or Zoom for breakfast. We rarely had ice cream and never popsicles in the freezer. Cookies or other treats sitting around for snacking was unheard of in my Mother’s very healthy house. That made the ripening watermelons even more appealing to us three kids.
I only lived in that house for a couple of years before going away to college, but I never looked at those cows on the other side of the fence in the same way. I always thought they were listening and learning and devising more dastardly schemes to make our lives miserable.
Years after college and living away from Hinckley I considered that it was very odd that you could live on Main Street and still have cows (very devious, watermelon eating cows) for neighbors.