A little parable of sorts. Two friends are about to part company for the day.
– Okay, I’ll see you on Sunday then… oh hang on, no. I’m taking my five-year-old to see his granddad’s cows.
– Yea, you know. Black and white animals with udders and a taste for grass.
– Yea but… really? I mean… really??
– Really what?
– Well… you don’t still believe in them do you? Not now.
– Why not?
– Well, you know, we’ve all moved on haven’t we? It was all right back in the old days, but we’re more sophisticated now. We don’t need cows, do we? They’re a bit irrelevant.
– Course we need them. You have milk in your tea don’t you? Where d’you think that comes from. Trees?
– Course not, it just happened, maybe it evolved from water.
– Really. And what about cheese? Did that evolve from mud?
– Don’t be daft.
– Well what about all that mooing that wakes you up early every morning at milking time.
– It’s the wind. Or misinformed pigs or something.
– Then what are all those creatures you see in fields eating grass?
– Oh I don’t bother with fields. They’re just for squares and folks who are out of touch.
– All right what about the book? We’ve got a big book that tells you all about cows.
– Oh you don’t want to trust that.
– Have you read it?
– I tried… but it’s just complicated and confusing.
– Some bits are difficult, sure. But not all of it. Look, why don’t you come with me and Henry on Sunday. You might enjoy it.
– I’m not sure. Suppose it’s all a trick. You know, just inflatable cows. Or cardboard. You could be fooling yourself. And then you’d be fooling me too. Anyway, they’re dangerous.
– Cows. Small kids can get butted by one of them. You know, when you’re only little.
– Yea. It can hurt.
– Oh! I see.
– Yea, well, that’s why I don’t bother with cows anymore.
– I’m sorry. I didn’t know.
– And sometimes it’s not cows, it’s the people who hang around with them. You can have good reason you know. To stay away.
– Yea I understand that. I want to stay away sometimes. I’ve been hurt. But I don’t want to throw the whole farmyard out just cause of a few bad smells. (pause) Look. Why not just give it a try. With us. With me and Henry. No pressure. Just give it a go. Plus! The farmer brews cider as well. And he’s very generous. Know what I mean?
– Cider, you don’t believe in cider do you? Not now we’ve got Guinness, surely!