The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Animal behavior not unlike ours


February 2, 2011

In drought times the water in dirt tanks evaporates, soaks into the ground or otherwise disappears — except for a little puddle in the deepest part, usually the middle.

Cracks form in the ground around the edges, making a design much like a jigsaw puzzle. Animals smell the water and plod through the fractured earth toward it. Sticky, gooey mud forms a bog between the cracks and the water puddle.

Birds and small animals usually can escape if they begin to get stuck, but cows slog on. They’re thirsty.

When cowhands come upon a cow stuck in the bog it’s hard to tell just how long she’s been there, but usually she’s thrashed around trying to clamber out and gotten herself stuck even worse. Plus she’s worn out from the struggle.

So they take down their ropes and drag her out, getting themselves half stuck and muddy in the process because they can’t just throw a loop around her neck. She’d choke.

Experienced hands know the second the cow is out they’ll probably have to four-foot her so they can retrieve their ropes and then get the heck out of Dodge because she’s gonna be on the prod.

She’ll move as fast as her tired body can go, and at least fill their hip pockets with snot while bellering and carrying on like they tried to kill her.

Some people have a disconcerting proclivity for ascribing human thought processes and/or behavior to animals. Those of us who live with animals don’t agree. Still, it is strange how animal behavior so often resembles that of humans.

Like the cow in the bog. We see people suffering somewhere in the world, and we try to help. Have you seen the numbers revealing which countries, recipients of our foreign aid (read money) consistently vote against us at the United Nations?

Closer to home, have you noticed that those who come uninvited to our country and stress our schools, health care system, etc., decide that our help is not something for which to be grateful but an “entitlement?”

So what’s to be done? What is the equivalent of four-footing and removing the helpful rope after assistance has been rendered?

The comparison goes beyond cows — it’s other animals as well. Keep in mind when Jesus said He is the shepherd and we are the sheep it was not a compliment, as every human who has had experience with sheep knows. Sheep spend their lives trying to figure out a way to die. They are easy prey for predators, and they will follow a Judas goat over a cliff, bleating all the way.

I say, “Let’s ask the cowboys.” If people are going to act like cows and sheep maybe it’s time they got treated that way. That’s bad, you say? Are you kidding? Cows and sheep in America have the easiest life of any animals anywhere.

So maybe the cowboys can tell us how to drag our “uninvited visitors” (read illegal-undocumented–aliens) out of the bog, four-foot those ungrateful folks and then take off our ropes.


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