Monday, July 20, 2009

The Cow Protest

The Marietta Register (Semi-Weekly), July 15, 1887

Editors Register: My attention has just been called to the fact that a few cowardly men, destitute of the milk of kindness, are conspiring to keep us poor cows off the street. Mr. Editor, we cows propose to kick. I want to say here and now, that we don’t care a snap about the grass along the sides of the street. It is so poor, so dusty, and so unfit for eating that all decent and well bred cows turn up their noses at such stuff; but our rights lie in entirely different directions. Let me enumerate some of them. Whenever a load of hay drives into town, a number of us cows follow, and steal a big nip every few moments; and listen to the driver perched overhead, violating the law in regard to profane language. Does any good man desire to deprive us of this pleasure? The petition our friends are getting up for the council answers this question.

Again, for the sake of exercise, and health, we are on the go most of the time. We often find gates leading into front yards and gardens open, left in that condition by thoughtless people. We always step in to inhale the perfume of the flowers and sample the sweet corn. My experience is, that I have never been in a yard or garden over fifteen minutes before the lady of the house is out, screaming “shoo” at the top of her voice, and telling the hired girl to “drive out that nasty cow,” and the girl, with a broom, attempts to hit me, but she never does. Such conduct on the part of people is far from dignified, and I very naturally resent it by nipping a few of the choicest flowers, and tramping down the garden. We didn’t leave the gate open, and why should we be shut up for people’s forgetfulness? Can anyone answer that argument?

And, thirdly, as the preachers say, our chief pleasure is snatching vegetables from in front of groceries. My, but that is fun. We do it this way: Stand and look innocent when the “truck” is placed on the sidewalk, and until the clerk goes in, then rush up, seize a turnip, roasting ear, squash or whatever it may be, and rush off. Out comes the clerk, yells “sick ‘em,” sick ‘em,” throws a decayed lettuce at us, and goes in again, when you can repeat the job until he has to take the vegetables into the store. The idea of not permitting cows to enjoy such entertainments would be too cruel. Anyway, as I said before, the grass on the streets is not fit to eat, our owners are all too poor to buy hay, or hire pasture for us, and many of us would go hungry if it wasn’t for the groceries. Who then, would want us shut up without food, when the groceries are so convenient?

We are told that other cities refuse to let cows run at large. That may be, but I venture the guess that it is in cities where there are no colleges or high schools. We have too much culture here to shut up the cows. Again, we are to have the Centennial next year, and there isn’t a cow in Marietta that don’t want to mingle with our visitors on that occasion. The cows will shortly hold a mass meeting to protest against being shut up as unconstitutional and void. Due notice will be given of the meeting.

Respectfully, Fourth Street Cow.

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