Hamburger, cheeseburger, chili, steak, meatloaf, and hamburger helper. Ten o’clock at night, I continued to repeat my delicious resplendent mantra, which proved the sole remaining argument for another tour of the neighborhood. Twenty-minutes ago, Shannon had bounded downstairs just as I decided to pop some Final Fantasy into the Xbox.
“Need any help?” I asked, believing his excitement to be physics related.
“Yeah, the cows got out again. Get dressed.”
A few moments and several four-letter words later, my Explorer and I were rolling through the darkness herding bovines. The night had clouded just before supper, and so despite initial attempts to peer into backyards and over fences, I abandoned all sightseeing, focusing on the few inches of bare asphalt before me (as Dasad could attest, my headlights suck).
The roads after all were the real problem. No one knew when the animals escaped and within three or four hours the stupid beast might lumber into the road and kill a sleepy driver. I’ve seen seen deer, even fawns, eviscerate cars; their bodies many times sprier and smaller than an adult heifer. As Sean explained to Katie, it would be similar to colliding with a small tank. And in the darkness the cow stood a better chance of surviving the encounter.
Yawning and a might nettled, I circled the neighborhood again, like a marshal patrolling the prison wall, half-hoping to crash into one of the animals myself: a cow, a deer, an antlered cow (the things had been in the woods for nearly three or four hours, who knows what cross-breeding could have occurred).
Yet in spite of my misery (looking back quite pathetic and shameful), my brothers fared far worse. Thy whole motley group of siblings were trooping through the trees behind the barn, clapping their hands, and hooting like owls, which for some reason Ryan believed pacified the creatures but only managed to terrorize Kevin half-to-death. Shortly after that, everyone joined in on the hooting and howling. Kevin in his fear ran into a tree, desperately seeking my little sister, Brigid, who held the only flashlight.
After an hour as I was making my fifth revolution about the homestead, Mom called to say that Sean found his cows, holed deep in the woods somewhere. The boys were driving them back to the barn. My eyes sick with the same sights had grown weary and I was eager to pass out downstairs. Kevin, who Shannon had roused from sleep earlier, grumbled up the hillside:
Stupid idiotic animals,” he muttered rubbing his sore nose. ” Stupid Shannon. ‘Oh, you need to help, ’cause you fixed the fence.’ Well, if they weren’t so lazy and fix the electric fence, they’d never get out. Stupid it’jits . . .”
Typically, it’s enjoyable to mess with Kevin when he’s in this particular frame of mind. Anything from a simple “Hello” to “Dream of Toyota tonight” can unleash a tirade of grunts, shouts and ‘GRRRRRR . . . SHUTUP!” However, tonight I sympathized with the little guy, and fell asleep almost as soon as he did, sailing to Nod on a silky sea of milk and meat-lovers pizza.