Bessie

by Walt McKinney

The cow was full of beans. She stood up on her hind legs and shouted at the farmer, "Hey, Mister! What the heck did you put in those beans? My stomachs are on fire!"

"Keep yer voice down, you whiney bovine! Thet thar's my special recipe, extry hot."

"Well please warn me before serving up any more 'special recipe's'." Frantically looking around the old barn, Bessie shouted, "Where's my water?"

"Now jus' hole on Bessie. I'm a'gettin' it fast as I can. And like I say'd, keep yer voice down! I ain't ready t' let it be know thet I got me a talkin' cow."

Bessie stomped the hay-covered floor with her hooves, like an angry child throwing a tantrum. "If you don't give me something to drink right now, I'll run through the streets announcing it for you!"

The old farmer rounded up Bessie's water as quickly as possible. She enthusiastically lapped it up. Once her insides had cooled off, she calmly looked up. "Don't ever do that to me again. The next time you consider slipping me a bowl of hot beans, think about how it's going to feel for me to kick you through that barn door."

"Who's ever heard of a bean-eatin' cow anyhow?" the farmer asked. "Much less one thet talks."

"You can always take me back to the gentleman that sold me to you."

"Are you kiddin'? I 'spect to make a fortune off'n you, girl! You're mouth runnin's gonna make me a millionaire. Thet ole buzzard didn't reelize whut he was a' sellin'."

Bessie rolled her large black eyes. "So, do you expect to parade me in front of your friends and family? Have me tell a joke or two? Perhaps I can recite Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address, or quote some Shakespeare?"

"Haw! You're a comedian too, ain' cha? Or would that be a 'cow-median'? He laughed hysterically at his own lame humor. "Naw, I ain't'a waistin' my time with nobody in this backwoods place. I'll take you straight t'thet thar Hollywood an' put you on the TV."

Bessie pondered the old man's words for a moment. "So, you think it's just that simple, huh? I walk out on stage, ramble on about Lord knows what, and you get your pockets stuffed with cash?"

"I reckon that 'bout sums 'er up," he said through his large, tobacco-stained teeth.

Bessie sighed, shaking her head. "You ever heard the expression 'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink'?"

"Yeah, so?" The old man just wasn't catching on.

"Well, the same is true for cows."

"Haw! I'm a wantin' ya t'talk, not drink water!" He laughed.

"Let me re-phrase the expression. You can lead a cow to the stage, but you can't make her talk."

The farmer's laughter subsided. "Now hole on, Bessie. You wouldn't do thet t'me, would ya? I'm the one a'givin' ya food an' water."

"Yeah, beans hot enough to burn a hole in my digestive track. No thanks."

"Les jus' chalk at up t' a mistake an' get on with our business reelationship."

"Okay, here's the deal," said Bessie. "I get eighty percent of the profits, I want my own agent, and I'll need to retain a lawyer to look over any business contracts that we may consider signing."

"Whut?"

"That's right. Oh, and I'll need a wardrobe, stylist and personal trainer. If I'm going to be performing, I'll need to look my best. So, do you think lavender will go good with my natural black and white complexion? Oh, and make-up! I forgot about that. I'll need lots and lots of makeup"

"Now hole on"

Bessie continued to ramble. The old man eventually sat down on a bale of hay, shaking his head as the animal spewed forth one demand after another. The farmer began wishing he'd never met that darn cow.

The End

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