The Farmer and the Cow

by Mark R. Wilkins 
Once upon a time, a farmer's wife taught a cow to speak.

The farmer and his wife would spend hours after sunset talking with the cow about life, and philosophy. The farmer would read the cow the works of Plato. They could talk forever about Plato.

One day, the farmer arrived with a rifle. He intended to have a barbecue.

The cow pleaded for her life. She whimpered, and cried, and finally screamed for mercy. She frothed and stumbled over her own hooves trying to escape the farmer's bullet.

"How can you kill me?" she asked.

"Do not be afraid," said the farmer, his left brain focused on Plato and his right brain focused on a barbecue, "for the greatest joy is to be what you are."

Later, as he peacefully sank his teeth into a juicy morsel of prime rib, the contented farmer smiled at the joy he knew he had given the cow, lamenting only that the gift of speech had left her cooling body before she could express her happiness.