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Cows ‘n Bears

kettle on the stove

I feel compelled to justify my bear-cow situation of last post. I mentioned when we first moved in I saw a cow but mistook it for a bear. You might be thinking, “you live surrounded by a cow field, why would you ever think anything is not a cow?” That is a great point, and in order to explain I must first talk about gas stoves.

Shortly after we moved in, the stove broke. It went “POP” one day and no longer cooked things. It was pretty old, and it was electric. Hubs has great disdain for electric cooktops. He cut his teeth cooking with gas and nothing else will do. Our prior home was not plumbed into the city line, so we had to slum it with our electric model. Therefore, when the stove popped, he was not remotely interested in troubleshooting. We “upgraded” immediately to a gas model. I use quotation marks because when you are used to doing things a certain way, any sort of change, no matter how aggressively marketed by your spouse as “better” makes life a bit more difficult.

So the stove is here, it’s shiny, new and the cleanest it will ever be. Ever. Plus there’s real fire, it’s blue fire, this is very big for the children. Naturally, my inaugural use was to make mac and cheese. I had one kid on each side of the stove watching me boil water. Juno starts barking while she’s staring out the door at the pool deck. We hadn’t closed our pool yet for the season. I shushed her and continued explaining to the kids how fire can look blue, purple, yellow and red. B’s big takeaway, “ok so blue fire is the hottest fire, right? So any other color fire is probably not that hot?”

A lot hangs on the significance of those italics. Does he mean, it’s not that hot like as hot as blue fire? Or does he mean it’s not that hot like it may not burn me so I should go ahead and stick my hand in there? I’ve learned with B that italics matter. A lot. The dog keeps barking. 

“For heaven’s sake!” I go to the back door to let her out and see a large blur of blackish beast standing on the pool deck. A bear! It must be a bear. Not a bear! A cow! A very large cow! The cows are contained by an electric fence, depth perception is very tricky with those skinny wires. I decide to step outside on the screen porch to determine which side of the fence it’s on. Nope, a cow is definitely strolling across the pool deck! As it gets closer I determine it’s a boy cow. Not just a boy cow, a bull boy cow.

“Shoot shoot shoot get inside” I mutter. I’m suddenly picturing a bull crashing through my screen porch and goring me against the side of the house in view of the kids. (For the record, none of the bulls out here have horns)

We rush inside and I slam the door. The kids are screaming and asking what it is. I shush them, shush the dog, and grab my phone. I quickly call the farmers, “there’s a medium size boy cow standing on our pool deck!”

“Oh crap.” She says.

In the meantime I realize that some of the children’s screams were due to my mac and cheese boiling over most aggressively on the new gas stove. I sprint over and grab the metal handle of the pot. Holy hot. I scream but persist because the thought of boiled over noodle mess on my pristine gas stovetop was more than I could bear (see what I did there?) Remember, it will never be this clean again, no matter what.

With tears streaming down my face I hear the putt putt of the farmer’s Gator coming up our drive.

He came. He came in his Gator and rolled right up to our gate and he was going to save the day. Except the boy cow had gone up into the woods at this point and I lost sight of him, what with the third degree burns and all.

“Where’d he go?”

“Up there, in the woods. I don’t know. I’m sorry. I’ve got a bit of a situation in here.”

“Nah it’s fine. Now tell me. Did it look like a large calf? Or did it look like a small cow?”

What. Yes? All the above? If it was multiple choice I’d fail.

“Um. Medium? Medium boy. That’s all I could identify.”

We never did find that bull, for all I know he’s lurking in the woods behind the house waiting to spring at me the next time I’m making noodles. If you ask the kids they’ll swear every cow they see is on the wrong side of the fence and charging toward our house.

2 thoughts on “Cows ‘n Bears”

  1. So sorry for your burns, Inge! Ouch!!
    Why do they even make pans with metal handles??
    Hope you are now enjoying your gas stove after that inaugural disaster!

    1. The metal handle has perplexed me for some time. I then found a sleeve in one of our drawers which goes over the handle like a permanent hot mitt. Perfect, I thought! One use is all it took for it to melt and fuse itself to the pot handle! I can’t win. Gas is great but I find it cooks so much hotter than I’m used to!

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