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

By Audra Brown
Down on the farm 

Psycowology: the study of crazy cows


May 11, 2018

There are jobs that require one to learn to sense the motivations of other human beings. This is difficult, due to the fascinating complexity and flexibility of the human mind.

There are some, I’m certain, who profess to know so much about the inklings of people that they can maneuver and herd them to wherever they deem that they ought to go. I would shed some suspicion on any such claim, claiming that it is likely a situation where expectations and outcome aligned, rather than a case of mind-reading and true prediction.

To support this pet theory, I’d propose a demonstration of another sort of attempted mind management.

It is, so far, more than generally agreed upon that the brain and thoughts of a bovine entity are less than those of the human breed. Rather than debate anyone on exactly how stupid cattle are, it suffices here to agree that they are not as smart as the animals that eat them.

Thus, the point that’s being made here, is that you can’t always control a herd of herd-animals with minuscule mental powers — so, how likely is it that the human mind is understood to any significant degree?

There is always at least one crazy cow, that will inevitably head in her own direction; with or without the rest of the herd; for or against the intentions of the herder.

That cow is crazy, smarter, and never as happy as the rest. When the whole herd is just a few steps away from going in the pen, after a long and well-run gathering and pushing to that spot, the number of times that the whole thing suddenly went from relaxing to a real rodeo, is more than the number of times that it did not.

It goes against all the basics of motivating a herd of things that are only interested in putting one hoof in front of the other until there’s something to eat in their mouth.

But crazy isn’t anything but natural, and there’s something more than just staying fed. If even one cow in a hundred can smell something a little sweeter than salty cake and sugary haygrazer, then there’s bound to be something there. Or maybe it is just crazy when you can’t see the gate for the pen.

Apparently, Philisophicow was leaning heavily against the fences of my mental pasture today, so enjoy the ponderings and tip your hat to that crazy cow that causes all the trouble, and then go chase her and get her back to where you wanted her to get.

Audra Brown is a trained psycowologist, and bovine behavior therapist. Contact her at:

[email protected]


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