Sunday, 28 September 2008

Bring the Cow Out

When I first moved out of home I rented a room upstairs in a big house that had an adjoining room I used as an office. I bought a black and white cowhide to sit on the office floor in front of the fire place.

I got it cheap from a tannery because it hadn't been tanned properly. I couldn't see the problem, though when the afternoon sun came through my windows, boy oh boy could I smell it.

This is before 1998, so there was no Google to help me find out ways to get rid of the stench. So I researched it the old fashioned way – I asked my mum. Every morning before work I would take the cow over to my folks' place where Mum would embrace it, like a grandchild. And every afternoon, I would swing by to collect it. 

She tried powders and salts and fragrances and scrubs, but what she found was most effective was leaving it out in the sun. 

The cow became part of our family and the phrase, bring the cow in, bring the cow out, became part of our lexicon; to refer to the mundanity or repetitive nature of tasks.

Today the cow is still part of our family and lines the floor of our living room, when it isn't going camping or picnicking with us, or lunching with us out on the deck.

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