I had just sat down at HIPPIE at the kitchen table, bright and early on Father's Day (12:30 p.m. actual time), when I heard the dogs going wild. Hick was at his Storage Unit Store until 2:00, so I knew it wasn't him coming home. The Pony was in his room enjoying a day off from delivering mail.
Wait a minute! That wasn't my dog! Like a mother knows her children's voices, I know my fleabags' barks. Even Copper Jack's. I could hear my little Jack, who has a higher-pitched bark. This one was even higher. Like a little yippy dog. I went out the kitchen door to investigate. Juno darted out of her house. I was in the midst of talking to her, rounding the first corner toward the garage, when my little Jack came scrabbling around the corner from the front porch. I'm pretty sure there was a thought bubble over his head, filled with assorted leftovers I've given him as treats.
"Hey, Jack. What are you barking at?"
I noticed a 4-wheeler parked halfway down our driveway, facing the garage. And a red Gator-thing parked at the end of the driveway, by our address sign. What in the NOT-HEAVEN? I went on to look down the front porch.
A gangly 13-year-old-size boy carrying a helmet was walking down the steps. I used my teacher voice.
"What's going on?"
"Our cows are in your yard."
We both shrugged. He walked around the side of the house towards the back yard. I started back around to the kitchen. Not my monkey, not my circus. No way was I going to look for a cow. Nor yell at my dogs for doing what dogs are supposed to do. Literally. They have ONE JOB, to bark when there's an intruder. So I wasn't going to discourage them. Copper Jack isn't even mine!
I sent Hick a text:
"There's a man and two boys wandering around by the pool. Say their cow is on our land. Dogs are going crazy."
That was at 12:34. At 12:50, Hick replied:
Good thing it wasn't an emergency!
When Hick came home and heard more, he said they were gone.
"They left a bucket of corn in the yard. I dumped it out."
"Wait! Maybe they left it so the cows would come out of the woods."
"Too late now. They can find their corn over by the sheds. I fed the squirrels."
"Why would you feed the squirrels?"
"It keeps them off the porch."
"I guess you kept their bucket."
"It's hanging on the well spigot."
So... technically, Hick ALMOST had a cow on Father's Day. But all he really got was a card from me that said Happy Birthday (marked out) because Country Mart was out of Father's Day cards last week. And he got three Coca Cola ornaments for his collection, and a little Coca Cola cooler, and some lottery tickets. He had a $50 winner on a $10 ticket! Plus another $5 winner.
Hick didn't seem at all upset over missing out on a cow.