The birds, the bulls and the bees

cow grazing

Leaning on the gate and gazing across our small pasture, we all admired the beauty of nature that makes the picturesque canvas of our backyard. You can see pictures of our property adorning the walls inside our house or take in the view from any window in the house. It’s a scene right out of a dream, at least for us.

Tiny Tim, our Christmas Eve baby, is snickering as he can barely get the words out of his mouth. He’s still too young to understand, but not old enough to escape the peer pressure of his older brother. Too excited with emotion and laughter from the prompt of his sibling, he begins to ask, how we makin’ the cows pregnant?

As the laughter consumes the background, I’m not really sure how to answer his question. My wife must have heard him though because I could hear her prompts.

“Maybe you should tell him.”

“Tell him what,” I replied.

“About the birds and the bees.”

Ugh … for years I’ve put this discussion off. I avoided it with my daughter by handing her a book about anatomy.

I avoided it with my oldest son for a few reasons. One is that it’s hard to determine when the right time to have the discussion is. Second, I’m no expert in bees … and third, I’m not much more mature than he is. I still snicker and laugh when certain pieces of anatomy are said out loud.

Needless to say, I avoid this conversation like a holiday dinner at my in-laws. But this time, it’s different. And begrudgingly, I began to answer the best way I knew how.

Timmy, mommy cows are very social animals, but they don’t want to even see daddy cows. If a daddy cow is too close, they just walk away to find another patch of grass.

Meanwhile, daddy cow will spend his entire life just trying to inch closer and closer, every day. Although mommy cows are social animals, they really only prefer the company of other lonely mommy cows who also want nothing to do with daddy cows.

It seems that only about once in a full moon does a mommy cow even tolerate being near a daddy cow. Precisely long enough to give a daddy cow hope to continue pursuing the next day. This is why daddy cow always seems angry, paces back and forth, paws at the ground in rage.

As soon as I got the words out of my mouth, I could hear my wife taking over the conversation. She began explaining that perhaps if daddy cow would just take an interest in the mommy cow, instead of himself, she might be more interested.

I began stomping my foot on the ground, pumping my fists while I was trying to make a point that daddy cow doesn’t have time to pretend to be interested in mommy cow.

As she began walking away, I yelled out. But she just kept walking.

Soon, I found myself alone in the pasture. Stamping my feet, full of anger, trying to get her attention but to no avail.

In the end, just like a daddy cow, sometimes a dad has to sleep alone too. Any questions?


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