My friend Kysilka, over at It's All Good if you Can Laugh, posted today about growing up in the middle of BFE, and calling the cops late one night (when she got home, because this was in the days before cell phones) because a cow tried to kill her, and she only escaped via her skillful driving.
I laughed, and then twittered:
hubby once hit cow w/ motorcycle; highschool "friend" hit cow with canoe.
She, of course, told me that I had to blog about that canoe bit.
So, imagine, if you will, a high school youth group on a summer retreat camping trip. I, growing up in the crazy house that I did, was not allowed to go on this trip, because even though it was a church trip, Bad Things(TM) might happen. (seriously). So this is second hand information, but second hand from everyone who went on the trip.
Our pastor's daughter (T) and one of my cousins (R) were along on this trip. Not the brightest girls, but bestest friends.
The highlight of the trip for most people was the float trip (which, for those of you not familiar, is a day of getting sunburnt, and possibly pelted by hail, while you try to keep from tipping your lunch out of the canoe into the river your canoe is travelling on). There's usually no rapids to speak of, and nothing tricky to scare people - it's just a day of floating down the river.
The guide at most of these tells you as they throw you out of the bus and into the river that there should be 2 people per canoe: the back person steers, and the front person paddles for speed. Unless you're lazy, in which case no one paddles, because the water is going the way you want to go anyway. Or unless your canoe is manned by two teenage boys who want to prove how manly they are, so they start paddling for all they're worth, ignoring the scenery.
Anyway. In Missouri, there are farms alongside rivers, because crops grow really well on flood plains, and because that means they don't have to worry about watering the livestock - they just mosey down to the river when they're thirsty, and actually go out into it when they're too hot. This is an important point.
As luck would have it, no one really wanted to be in the canoe with either T or R, so they ended up together, T in front, and R in back.
Somewhere along the river, they came to a farm. It was August, and the cows, being somewhat smarter than the people broiling in their metal canoes, were actually in the water.
As the girls are floating along, T says, "Hey, R, there are cows in the water! There's one standing there, heading right for us! Steer!" (remember...the boat is moving on the water at a nice walking pace. The cow is *standing* in place, and the water is only about 3 feet deep)
R says, "Steer? I thought you were supposed to steer!"
T says, "No, I'm supposed to paddle, you're supposed to steer!"
All the while, that stationary cow is looking at them, chewing her cud, and standing there, coming right at them.
Finally, when they're within about 5 feet of the cow, T stops arguing with R, holds her paddle over her head with both hands, and starts screaming, "OhMyGodOhMyGodWe'reGonnaHitACowOhMyGod." R turns around, realizes that they're going to hit the cow, and starts screaming, "Paddle! Paddle!"
Everyone else stops what they're doing to watch the impending disaster, wishing they had video cameras, because this would totally have won them $10,000 on America's Funniest Home Videos.
The screaming continues, as the canoe lazily drifts down the river, and eventually does, in fact, run into the cow. The cow gives them a dirty look, moos, and walks away.
The moral of this story, folks, is that cows expect us to be smarter, what with our opposable thumbs and all, and they really don't think we should be invading their rivers.