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Published August 31, 2009, 12:00 AM

Gabriel: Could angry cows be headed for Fargo?

I grew up on the north side of Chicago. Although the city shares a bit of history with a certain cow kicking over a lantern (or so the story goes), school kids weren’t brainwashed into believing cows and trouble went hand in hand.

By: Christopher Gabriel, INFORUM

I grew up on the north side of Chicago. Although the city shares a bit of history with a certain cow kicking over a lantern (or so the story goes), school kids weren’t brainwashed into believing cows and trouble went hand in hand.

Quite the contrary. Here in the Midwest we were taught cows were good. Cows were natural providers of things we need. Cows were our friends.

The cows in Boulder, Colo., have a different idea.

Boulder is the home of the University of Colorado. It’s a fair statement to suggest both the city and university are as liberal as they are outspoken about things they’re passionate about. No one in Boulder sits on impulses; they act.

Apparently, this extends to the area’s livestock.

A short while back, a woman riding her bike along the South Boulder Creek Trail came upon a cow. The cow seemed friendly enough. And if you’ve ever stood near a field with cows, you know they’re quite friendly if not a bit on the quiet side.

They’ll just stand there.

And stare at you.

For hours.

It can actually be rather soothing until you realize you’re standing in a field staring at cows.

Certainly there are better things to do with one’s time than stand in a field staring at cows. But the hypnotic powers of a cow cannot be underestimated. Merely thinking about their seductive, tranquil gaze … where was I …

The gal biking along the South Boulder Creek graciously stopped to let the cow cross the trail. Rather than do the right thing and cross, the cow blew an udder and knocked the woman off her bike.

But it didn’t stop there.

This mammal of mass destruction then stepped on her legs. And like the plot in a bad television drama, Elsie took off before park rangers arrived at the scene.

What would the rangers have done had they gotten there to see Elsie terrorizing this woman? Shot her? Tasered her? Milked her for information?

Thankfully the woman wasn’t hurt, but this could have been much worse. And still could be.

What if this cow is merely the tip of a larger iceberg ready for a meltdown? What if Elsie was the advance scout for a herd of angry, out-of-work dairy cows bent on taking over Boulder?

Think about this for a moment: Colorado’s mascot is a buffalo named Ralphie. It was in 1934 that CU’s athletic teams were officially given the nickname “the Buffaloes.” Add to the mix the long history of animosity between cows and buffaloes, especially in central Colorado.

Now take it one step further: In 1931 the influential Cow Labor Union was turned away when trying to pressure CU into naming their teams “the Cows.”

Is the picture starting to get a little clearer?

Boulder is one of the most beautiful towns in America. It’s vibrant and serene, intellectual and edgy. But it’s a town in trouble.

People joke, “What could happen to us … they’re cows.”

Right. Bitter, vengeful dairy cows.

I’ve looked into the eyes of an angry cow. Two years and $17,000 dollars of therapy later, I’m only now beginning to see the light.

Is there a lesson here? Perhaps. But more than a lesson, a message has been sent. “Don’t Stand in Our Way.” ­

Could Fargo be next?


Christopher Gabriel hosts “The Christopher Gabriel Program” from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays on AM 970 WDAY. Read his blog at http://cgabriel.com/ and preview his show at www.areavoices.com/cgabriel

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