Cows Of Contention
by Marian Allen
Who knows how or why these things happen? The same words, spoken so often they had worn their meanings down into mere smears of acknowledgment, like “Hello,” “How’s it going,” or “Have a nice day,” grew points and edges.
“The lady said we’re china,” Daisy said, the familiar statement that had once been an opening to exploration now flat and tightly shut.
“She also said we have Dutch patterns painted on us; I can see them, even if you can’t: curly blue bits and windmills.”
What would once have become discussion, speculation, and shared wondering now turned to hostile silence.
With stamps of all four hooves, Maisie approached the edge of the shelf and peered over. She closed her eyes and jumped. She landed on the rug and fell onto her side.
Daisy struggled to her feet.
“Maisie! Maisie! Where are you? What are you doing?”
Waving her legs and rocking, helpless on her side, Daisy nevertheless shouted back, “I’m going to China to find my roots!”
Angry again, Maisie shouted back, “Oh, are you? Well, I’m going to Dutch to find my roots!” She jumped down, too.
With a dreadful clatter and a hideous hollow feeling, her lid flew off and tumbled under the couch.
“What was that?” Daisy mooed.
“Oh! Oh! The top of my back came off! The part with the tip of my tail!” Maisie sat back down and cried.
“Oh, no! Oh, no! Oh, my poor Maisie! I would help you find it, but I can’t get up!”
Vibrations through the floorboards told them rescue approached: The lady was coming.
“What are you guys doing on the floor? That darned cat! Katya, stay off the curio shelves, dang it!”
Daisy whispered, “We’re curios? I thought we were cows.”
Maisie whispered back, “Maybe curio is a breed of cow. The kind made of china with Dutch paintings on them.”
The lady restored the cows to their comfortable spots, with an extra dusting and polish for good measure. She found Maisie’s lid and fitted it lovingly in place.
After their adventure, the cows were closer than ever, and took great care to keep their disagreements friendly and their differences intriguing rather than divisive.
The cat, who had never even thought about the curio shelves before, began to eye them speculatively.
But that may be another story.
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I’m posting at Fatal Foodies today on the topic of Milk Soup.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about friendship in crisis, or runaways, or disaster.