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On the Edge of Common Sense

The Cow Committee
By Baxter Black

Once upon a time at the start of all creation
Angels sat upon a cloud. An odd conglomeration
Of buckaroos from near and far, but not there from the city.
Their job: to build a brand new beast. They were the Cow Committee.

“Now me, I’d like some floppy ears,” suggested Texas Jake.
“Floppy ears would freeze plum off on the Powder or the Snake!”
“Up north we need some curly hair,” said Colorado Bill,
“Hide that’s tight and hair that’s thick to ward against the chill.”

“Hold yer horses, one and all,” said Omaha Eugene,
“Nebraska needs a fleshy cow; a real corn machine!”
“She’d waste away!” cried Tucson Bob, “What we need’s a hump.
One who’ll live on tumbleweeds and run from clump to clump.”

‘How ‘bout horns?” said Oakdale Pete. “Don’t need’em in Des Moines.”
“We’ll make some with and some without and some with tenderloins.”
“Some with sheaths that drag the grass and some so dadgum tall
To hear her calf down on the ground she’d have to place a call!”

“I’d like’m roan,” said Shorthorn Mike. “No, black,” said Angus Tink.
“White or red,” said Hereford Hank, “I’d even take’m pink!”
“Whatever suits you tickles me,” said Juan from Mexico.
“I second that,” said Crossbred Jack, “Just make’m so they grow.”

They made some white. They made some blue. They made some orange and spotted.
They never made a green one, but they made’m tall and squatted.
In every shape and every size, but no one had decided
How to make the perfect cow; on that they were undivided.

This went on for days and days, in fact, it never ended.
Each time they reached some middle ground, the project was amended.
They still meet from time to time and argue with their leaders.
The Cow Committee carries on ... they’re now the purebred breeders.

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