I had a terrible dream after coming home from the pub last Saturday night. 

And t’wasn’t the drink that had put quare thoughts into my head, only the recent shooting of those five misfortunate heifers in Co Monaghan.

In my dream, I too had called in the army to deal with wayward livestock. 

“Yerra,” says I to this Major General fellow who was standing by my side, “I’m sick and tired of traipsing after them cattle, open fire my good man,” I said, “and don’t be sparing with the pellets.” 

I was as callous as be-damned, in my dream.

“Yes, sir,” he responded, before saluting me and then shouting orders to his platoon.

“Shoot to kill!” he barked. 

“Take no prisoners!” he screamed as his men began to dig a long trench in the field behind the house. My cattle had cleverly taken to the woods on spotting the army arrive.

Anyhow, in spite of an eye in the sky courtesy of a military jet on loan from the American air force, no cattle could be spotted in my wood. They’re the devils entirely for hiding.

So, left with little choice, the army decided to attack the wood, unleashing hell with a hail of bullets and all manner of artillery.

But to cut a long story short, no cattle were found. My cattle had escaped from under the noses of the army and were now holed up in the shed. 

“God damn!” shouted the Major General when he spotted them chewing the cud in the shed up the yard, the army were looking like utter fools.

Again he gave orders, this time to fire a bazooka shell into the cattle shed.

“Fire at will, soldier!” the gruff general roared, and so we all covered our ears for fear of going deaf with the blast. 

But again misfortune was on the side of the general, for instead of blowing my cattle to kingdom come, the bazooka blew the roof off the shed. And, startled by the blast, my cattle now hightailed it to all four corners of the farm.

The major general was now foaming at the mouth with frustration, for he was looking like a proper ass. And with no hope now of massacring my cattle with conventional weaponry, he was left with just one choice.

“Nuke the sons of bitches!” he barked. 

An order which of course startled me, for I am not a man given to coarse language, even in my sleep.

Anyhow, from a warship off the coast of Bermuda or someplace, a nuclear missile was launched and soon it was passing over the town of Dunmanway on its way to this farm quicker than you could say Jack Robinson. 

Anyhow, the next thing I spotted the mushroom cloud and I knew there and then that the game was up for my cattle.

“Mushroom, mushrooms,” I heard my missus say. And again “mushrooms” she repeated. 

“Do you want mushrooms with your breakfast?” she asked and she after waking me from the most terrible of nightmares.

“Begod woman,” says I rubbing my belly, “I will.”

For I was mighty glad not only to be offered mushrooms, but to be alive in the first place.

The nightmare was over and how glad I was to peer out the window and see my cattle happily grazing in the field outside.

And of course I then thought about how fortunate we all are that the business of minding our nation’s livestock is left in the capable hands of farmers.

Farmers who for centuries have needed nothing more lethal than a light stick to conduct and control cattle of every make and variety.


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