Comedy Short Stories

The Bipeds vs. The Borden's

           Daybreak was still hours from occurring and the alarm was indicating that I should get my lazy body from the warm bed. I took a long shower and had some strong coffee before I kissed my wife goodbye. The truck was having the same morning as I because it took several attempts to turnover. I threw the truck into gear and tore down the road as I was running behind and still needed to pick up George or Big G. Today was going to be a busy day as there were two that had called in sick the night before. This staffing shortage had led to the current situation of starting two hours earlier than normal. Not only was this an inconvenience to us both but the thought of getting the Holstein's and Borden's up before their scheduled milking was something of a nightmare. My thoughts were momentarily diverted as I had arrived at Big G's trailer and after multiple honks from the truck he came stumbling out. The look on his face was priceless and indicated his obvious disapproval of being up this early. He got into the vehicle and said, "I despise this job more and more every day. Can you please remind me why we both get up early and work late to service bovines?" I was unable to muster a smile this early but did respond. "We inherited the fields from our retired father with the agreement that we would continue the business. With that responsibility comes early mornings and late night dinners with the family." Big G turned his head and gazed out the window while mumbling something that I couldn't make out.

           I pulled the truck up the long gravel road towards the trailer that sat at the junction of the east and west fields. As the truck reached the junction and the yellowing trailer emerged from the darkness, Big G opened the door and jumped out into the morning mist. He must have been ready for another pot of coffee as he was not known to move that fast in the morning. I pulled the car to a halt just shy of the front door and was soon entering. The strong smell of coffee hit me as the door was mere inches from the frame and a smile crept across my face. "Big G, did you buy some new coffee? Whatever you are brewing is better than the crap I normally get." Big G game me a little smirk and responded, "It's imported from Ohio and I purchased it from the local convenience store. So I would say it's as crappy as the stuff you had last week." I was at least entertained this early morning as we both filled out mugs to the top with genuine caffeinated dark water that maybe passed within a million miles of the Columbian mountains.

           We wished each other good luck with our morning tasks as we headed in separate directions. Big G had lost the coin toss and was making his way to the South Field to get the Holsteins up and in to the processing plant for milking. He was sure to have fun with them this morning as they were difficult getting out of their warm shelters at their normal time. As I laughed to myself I knew it wouldn't be much easier for me to get the Borden's moving. I sipped on my mug of awful coffee as my feet carried me to the East field. This was a field I didn't take care of often unless there was a sickness or someone's vacation. The hardest part of gathering the Borden's was locating all of them as they wondered apart after the evenings burning of the wood and dried field grass. This nightly ritual was for the Borden's to stay warm in the cool nights air, but once it burned out they seem to want to get away from one another. It was an added bonus for the evening caretakers to move the bonfire to where they all congregated after their milking. The easiest way to locate them was to find the oldest bovines as they seemed to mark the spot for the start of the evening. It then hit me that I would be doing this chore tonight and my heart sank an inch.

           The gate opened with a squeak and lurched inwards and I made my way over several hills and valleys until I reached the remains of the burnt out campfire. I looked around the immediate area and no bovines were to be seen. I didn't think it would have been that easy so I went further into the field and after a few minutes had gathered a good portion of them including the oldest of the herd and headed towards the processing building. By the time I had pushed and pulled them to the base of the ramp, a quick head count revealed only one was missing. That would have to be alright for this morning as I didn't have enough time to locate the twenty ninth. One I had old bovines moving up the ramp the others fell in line and they were soon inside the building. It didn't take long, or so it seemed, to get them hooked up to the milking attachments to remove the unusually dark milk from their bellies. I leaned against the cool railing and sipped on my mug of coffee and thought about how our customers had taken to the Borden's milk. It was probably cleaver marketing from my father that got the dark milk to be known as chocolate milk. He even went as far as planting several acres of coco beans which the bovines now consume like addicts. This has caused their milk to be dark when it is collected and after we add some additional chocolate, sugar and other goodies, it sells off the shelves.

           I am startled from my thoughts as I feel my hand being licked and when I look around there stands number twenty nine. There is some excitement from number twenty nine as she gets hooked up and the dark milk starts flowing. They begin to finish as I drain the last of my coffee and help them out of the building and down the ramp. The lead bovine heads towards the cluster of trees very close to the building. I watch them meander for a few minutes and they soon lie under the trees in the cool high grass. It then hits me that the sun is well into the sky and I forgot my sunglasses. I let out a long sigh and head back into the building and unhook the remainder of the bovines. After some coaxing from their stalls I usher them to the exit and secure the door behind them. I head out the back door of the building and the milk transport is pulling up. To my surprise it's Bob who is driving the rig and thought he had died several years ago. I then started to wonder how he could hook the rig up to the pumping station as he was missing an arm, had a fused knee joint in his leg and had brittle bone disease which meant he was forever in various casts. After a few hours with Bob and his various physical limitations the milk was on its way to the family plant for processing and distribution. I took a seat under a nearby oak and looked upon the herd while the wind whipped across my face. It was so peaceful here and I hadn't taken enough time to enjoy what was in front of me. This moment of bliss soon passed and I knew that it was time to move on to the next field before the night was upon me.