TO CONTINUE WHERE I LEFT OFF YESTERDAY…..
Arm resting on my open window, I started my careful cow-pie-avoiding weave. In desultory fashion, heads wagging and tails switching, the cows moved out of my way. The calves, like all young ones, took the diversion of my car’s presence as an excuse to wiggle, buck, leap and spring hither and yon. All was moving along well until I found myself fender to nose with a large black cow. Her thick pink raspy tongue licked her nose. We were close enough that I could count the long black eyelashes above gentle eyes, which surveyed me with an expression of tender sadness and perplexity. “Why disturb my reverie by making me move?” she seemed to ask. “Until you came along I had all day to decide whether to go or left or go right,” I imagined her thinking, if indeed she were capable of such a thought. “Do you really expect me to make such a crucial decision now, just because you need to get to the other side? Of me…”
She was right of course. I couldn’t honk at her to move. After all, I was transitory. She lived here. I killed the engine and turned on the radio. To my delight, the lilting, limpid beauty of Mozart’s Piano Concerto K.467, made famous in the movie Elvira Madigan, filled the air. Fingers of music stretching out the windows entwined with the sage and the grass and the yellow flowers, caressing the backs of the cows, looping around the skipping legs of the calves and bringing them all to a slow and measured halt.
As the lush notes filtered through the sun’s rays, there was a moment of absolute stillness around me. And then, black heads began turning. The cows looked at me quizzically, unsure. But the calves, unsullied by country western twang, were enraptured. They found the music irresistible. First one, then a few, then bunches, turned around and came back.
Shyly they settled in around my car, ears twitching, tails switching, noses moist and innocent. The cow whose indecision had blocked my route reunited with her youngster, giving a fond lick of recognition to his derriere, heaving a happy sigh of relief when he butted her udder for a quick tug of milk. As the calves relaxed with their heads hung low, all the cows began to wander back, calling gently, listening for an answering bawl that would tell them where their calf was. Soon I was encircled in a placid herd of mooing Mozart-lovers, tightly swaddled in a peaceful black blanket of cow bodies. The apricot sun rode low on a horizon graced with silver clouds, as strains of violin and piano drifted over the sage.