Sunday, 6 November 2016
WHEN YOUR COW COUGHS
You are a hardworking farmer, a farmer who knows a thing or two about rearing cows. Not just cows, but real cows who produce milk and by milk I mean, lots of milk. You also have that favorite cow. Your beloved cow, a cow who has found a special place in your heart. A cow whom you love from the bottom of your heart and hopefully the cow also loves you from the bottom of it's udder.
Let us just say that one morning, your favorite cow will cough. It will most likely be after you have milked her and are satisfied by the results. You will be standing close to you cow hands akimbo, admiring her and by 'her' I mean your cow.
Now, listen. When your cow coughs, it is not like when a human being coughs. When a human being coughs, we can laugh, we can make fun, we can even mimic the way they cough (provided you are close friends. It is not polite to do that to strangers) because the human cough is only life threatening under very special circumstances. My good friend Kinuthia, sometimes laughs, with one eye closed, until the laughter mutates into a prolonged cough and then we laugh some more, followed by more coughing and tears of joy. See? No need to worry.
I have never began a sentence with 'but', so let me begin with some few meaningless and unnecessary words to avoid committing some grammatical sin. 'But' is a conjunction remember? Okey here we are, but when your favourite cow coughs, it could mean anything. It could just be a slight irritation, which is quite welcome. She could have swallowed something life threatening like a needle, now that is horrible. It could also be a life threatening disease and that makes it fatal to both your cow and your agribusiness.
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Now, at this point I need to tell you about sadists, because God forbid, your cow might or will die because of the cough. A sadist is a person who takes pleasure in other people's misfortunes. I am assuming that you and you cow live in the village, so I do not need to tell you that your fellow villagers might or will rejoice in the death of your cow. That is because, they will go for days without needing vegetables, thanks to the meat from your cow.
Okey, back to serious business, your cow is now dead, so let us talk about how your cow will be slaughtered. After many years of observation, I have concluded that almost everyone in the village walks around with a knife, for reasons only known to themselves. I know this is not good for security and the Inspector General of Police needs to know this.
Occasionally, such knives would be used to threaten each others lives, during various states of drunkenness or when fighting for women, but now that your cow is dead, they will come in handy in grabbing free meat. To cut a long story short, the human vultures will devour your cow within minutes, after all what do you expect when more than thirty people emerge from nowhere with knives?
You may protest in the process, but some self declared veterinary experts will declare the meat unfit for human consumption. They will therefore take on the responsibility of disposing off the meat. Large pieces of meat will therefore be taken away in the pretence of taking them to the various dogs in the various homesteads, but do not be fooled. That meat will probably end up on someones plate.
What you will however be left with, is the head, skin and the heart of the cow, which in traditional African set up belongs to the owner of the cow. The problem is, if someone gets sick from consuming the meat, the police and public health officers will come for you (the owner of the cow). That is double tragedy.