Speaking Out: Leadership and the Future | Chroniclers


A semi-load of cattle arrived at my mom and dad’s house near Bowdon. My mom and dad lived on the farm and my dad was delighted to see the cattle come back after a long absence. I wanted to see how the driver was unloading these cattle, especially from the upper deck which used a ramp to connect these cattle to the ground.

I imagined the driver climbing up to the gangway and using a cattle prod to get them off the upper deck. I asked him how he planned to get them out. He said, “I use the coffee and cookie method.” I hadn’t heard of this method, and he asked me, “Your parents have coffee and cookies at home, don’t they? I guessed they did, and he said he was planning to walk into the house and visit my parents and have coffee and cookies. He expected the cattle to unload. I could watch, but stay out of sight of the cows, maybe behind the corner of the barn.

I watched as he recommended me and the first cow, a white-faced cow, stuck its head out and then went inside. Many times this happened until finally this big, slender animal carefully chose its first steps on this spooky ramp and eventually came down the ramp and started to eat grass. The following cows were also cautious, but the last, tail up, hurtled down the ramp anxious to join her colleagues who were now eating grass.

For the first cow, the ramp and the future were indeed very frightening. Fear of the future shakes Americans, desperately trying to avoid a changing world.


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