In praise of the humble cow horn

Denis Lehane muses poetically on the loss of the humble cow horns. 

Twas a year ago now, that she first caught my eye

The cow at the mart, my bundle of joy

I said to the man who was with me that day,

“That cow will me mine, I don’t care how much I pay.”

And sure enough then, when her time it did come,

I raised up my hand and paid out the sum

The cow I secured, on that sunny day,

For a price so outrageous, I’m embarrassed to say.

“But what was so special about the cow?” you might cry.

“Was she gifted with speech? Could she sing Danny Boy?”

“Was she from some exotic spot?

Where the people dress funny?”

What could it be that had me spending my money?

T’was none of the above, it has to be said

T’was her mighty antennae, the horns on her head

Her horns were magnificent, they were as quare as can be.

Twisting this way and that, like the limbs of a tree,

There was no way to load her, I knew from the start,

So I walked her home, after our day in the mart.

Well we had only got back,

When this inspector touched down,

“I’m here on important business,” he said with a frown.

I have to see your old cow, with the horns so huge,

A report has gone in, bring out the accused.

So I went for old Betsy, for that was her name

I christened her myself, as we strolled up the lane.

Well, he looked at her antlers, and a shock he did get.

“Her horns must be cut off, and I’ll be the vet.”

So he stooped to his bag, for a saw or a blade,

But Betsy was quicker, a bolt she had made.

She went for his rear end, her horns leading the charge,

And sent the poor inspector half way across the yard.

The inspector went flying, no sight of him now,

They say he’s given up his job, on account of my cow.

But my story doesn’t end there, there is more don’t you see,

For Betsy found romance, you must believe me.

A neighbour’s old bull with many hours on the clock

Took a fancy to Betsy, my worn ditch he did knock.

And to cut a long story short, as the fellow did say,

He romanced old Betsy by night and by day,

For my cow with the horns,

While she might look quite severe,

Was a gentle old soul, there was nothing to fear,

So to round off my story, of how it all ends,

Last Monday morning, she gave birth to twins,

Old Betsy the cow, is now the queen of the farm,

She has horns on her head, but devil the harm.


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