Thompson Farm Barnyard From the Hill Nov 2011
A Cow In Queens
It wasn’t front page news but it warranted as much space as this column in most of the major NYC papers, some even included a picture and a map! It was note worthy enough story that the following day a few people asked me if I had seen it and one even cut a clipping for me. What was the story about? A cow got out.
Cows do that; they get out some times. Never in my life did I imagine such an event would be news worthy! In my experience, when a cow gets out you just chase her back in again. If she isn’t yours you get in touch with whoever she belongs to and help them get her back in again. In the unlikely event you don’t know who she belongs to; you corral her then call around to see who is missing a cow. There is no drama, no news coverage, and certainly no calls to 911. Yes, this bovine prompted people to call 911, over half a dozen of them!
The news reporting on this story was a delight! The New York Daily News reported that she was captured “After leading authorities on a 49-minute chase…”, included a quote from the Police Commissioner “The cow is in custody.” and a first person account from the twelve year old who’s yard she was captured in “I was sort of scared because it could have hurt somebody.”
There is only speculation as to the ownership of Queeny Maxine. (Some reports called her Queeny while others Maxine. I have combined the two to prevent any confusion as to if I might be writing about a different cow on the loose here in NYC). No one came forward to claim her. Her picture may as well have been on the side of a milk carton for as many eyes as fell upon her image. Someone must have recognized her! Cows aren’t cheap! Why on earth would no-one claim her?!?! It is actually pretty easy to figure out why; everyone prefers a story to have a happy ending.
It is most likely that Queeny Maxine got loose from one of the 75 plus live animal markets in NYC. These are legal licensed markets and many slaughter on premises. No one wants to be read the headline “Captured Cow Returned to Slaughter”, it is anticlimactic to say the least. Reclaiming her would have meant at best, bad press, and at worst riotous vegetarians, neither of which is a positive for her former owner. It is better to take the loss in silence than risk the alternatives. The ending that has befallen Queeny Maxine is more newsworthy anyway; the escapee is headed to live out her years on a 175 acre no-kill sanctuary; a sort of health spa retreat for runaway cows. This is one of those times when I have to admit, in some ways NYC is nothing like Gouverneur!
I hope this letter has found you and yours in good spirits and good health. Until I write again…