Sunday, February 13, 2011


The other night we were driving back home from the Casino- where we had gone for a Valentine's Dinner. As we drove along the Rama Road, the following story came to my mind.
I do not know why.
It's called:

Out in the Barn

One night out in the barn, Betsy stood quietly in her stall, silently chewing on her cud. As she did, she felt a cool wind caress her hind quarters.

Lilloweth, who stood in the stall next to her, was listening to a country music show on the old Philco Barn Radio. Her tail was jauntily swissshing left and right to the strains of a banjo and steel guitar. “Country Roundup” was her favourite radio show and Farmer Frank always left the radio on for Lilloweth- not only on Thursday evenings when Country Roundup was aired but on every night of every week.
Something about contented cows he said.

“Lilloweth Dear.”-Betsy spoke to her over the sound of the “old country” station straining from the radio’s 4 inch speaker- “Do you feel a bit of a breeze?”

“Well we do live in a Barn, Betts” says Lilloweth, “We always feel a breeze, especially when that old north wind howls through the cracks in the barnboard.”

“No Dear, it’s not that it’s more of a “whoosh” not just a breeze. Helen Darling…”

Helen lived in the cow stall on the other side of the wooden pillar- supporting the overhead loft, near the big barn door. “Helen, Darling, can you feel that breeze over at your place, my goodness it’s positively “cruel shoes” over here.

“Cruel Shoes?”- laughed Helen. “Holy cow Betts, I haven’t heard that one in years. I just love Mr. Steve Martin!”

“Yes Dear, so do I but more to the point, how’s the air over there?”-Betsy was impatient as well as cool!

“Now that you mention it Toots, it is a bit breezy. I guess my country two-step was keeping my tushy warm”- added Lilloweth from her housestall.

Helen turned her head and looked in the direction of the big barn door.
“Betsy, I see the problem. There is a leakage of warm air.”

“Really”-mooed Betsy, “How so?”

“The door is open about 6 inches or so. I’ll have it fixed in a jiffy Hun.” Helen manouvered her 600 pound brown and white body out of the stall, backing it out very carefully.

“I really appreciate that Dear!”- Betsy yelled over her stall wall.

Meanwhile, Lilloweth was stomping all four hoofs on the floor of her stall as Foggy Mountain Breakdown blasted from the radio.

“Almost there Sweetie”- called out Helen. She reached the door a minute later and lifting a massive rear leg, gave it a huge push.
It slammed closed with such fierceness that bits of chaff and dust fell to the barn floor through the cracks in the floor of the loft above.

“Done Darling. The offending door is closed and the breeze has been quelled.” Helen called from the doorway.

“Helen, you are a Dear!”-cried Betsy.

“Oh for pete’s sake don’t mention it. Glad to do it for you.” Helen said with a broad smile.

“You Dear, sweet bovine, I can feel the warmth encircling my backside already.”-says Betsy in her most loving and warm tone. “Sorry to have bothered you.”

“Oh Hun, no problem. I was just browsing through my latest Hello Canada Mag. Nothing more. No big whup!

“Well I am grateful nonetheless.”- said Betsy.

Turning to Lilloweth she says-
“Lilly, it was the big barn door. Helen says it was open just a few inches. That’s why I could feel such a draft.”

“Well Darling, I am glad you’re feeling the warmth now”- said Lilloweth, “by the way, doesn’t the straw seem to smell so sweetly tonight?”

“Yes indeed.”- Betsy scooped up a mouthful. “I watched Farmer Frank sling pitchfork after pitchfork into the loft just yesterday. It must be a new batch from the straw shed.”

“I suppose Darling. Gee Betsy…” says Lilloweth, “I can hardly wait for the first day of spring. Just to smell the fresh, green grass.”

“Neither can I but I fear we have a few weeks yet before we feel that warm sunshine on our broad backs”- Betsy sighed.

“At least it’s on the way.” Lilloweth replied with glee.

“What are you two ladies going on about?” It was Helen. She had strolled down the barn to Betsy’s stall.

“Oh Helen Dear, we were just dreaming of spring.”- mooed Betsy.

“Can’t come too soon for me, my Sweets. I just hope we are all here to enjoy it.” Helen sounded serious.

“What?”- cried Lilloweth above the country twang. “What are you talking about?”

“Well cow kids,”- Helen’s tone sounded more severe. “There’s always the chance that one of us girls might find our days numbered here at Farmer Franks Happy Hollow Farm.”

“Oh don’t be ridiculous Helen. I don’t want to hear that kind of talk!”-cried Lilloweth.

Helen looked at Lilloweth and said- “Oh Lilly, it’s just a part of life. We have all known the story for years. Remember Flossy and Ursella and Candy and Brownie. When they left in Farmer Frank’s big trailer, did we ever see them come back to the barn?”

“No, we didn’t!”- Betsy gulped.

Lillowth was speechless!

“Why do we need to think about that now? I can’t believe that Farmer Frank would sell us down the road. He likes to have us around too darn much. Why look he even bought Lilly that new radio just last month.” Betsy was starting to get a headache. She thought about laying down on the soft, clean straw.

“Yes Hun, you are right about that- even though that old Radio on the shelf above Lily’s house stall is older than the three of us combined!” Helen sounded smug.

Lilloweth stomped her right hoof hard on the stall floor. “Look Ladies, lets look on the bright side. Betsy’s right. Even I have heard Farmer Frank say in “human speak” many times that he would never get rid of the three of us. He says we are like family. So Helen, let’s not worry about something that may never happen.”

Lilloweth paused, thought for a moment, then continued- “Besides we have too much fun and living yet to do. I for one will not dwell on possibilities. Now look, let’s get a deck of cards and take our minds off this “hogwash”. Betsy, can you make a pitcher of Martinis? Helen have you got some chips and cow dip in that old stall of yours?”

Helen smiled. “Why yes I do. Indeed I do. I’ll be right back. You know Lily, you are right. Let’s live for the moment. We have this wonderful, warm barn. Lots of fresh hay. Clean, cool water and….”

Lilloweth cut in. “Let’s not forget the music on that old radio!”

“and…the radio too, of course. C’mon gals let’s get this impromptu party started, only don’t tell the pigs. You know what party animals they can be!”

Helen marched off to her stall to fetch the food.
Betsy made a pitcher of martinis, then helped Lily set up the card table- all in the warmth of Farmer Frank’s barn.

Finally, they turned up the Philco- just a notch.