When my husband Frank had a survey job in our very urban Silicon Valley city long ago, he didn’t expect to end up being the object of intense affection. He was a good-looking man (is, sorry Frank!) but he wasn’t often chased by yearning females. Not ever, in fact, until that memorable day.
When he got to the job site he found himself on a farm, right there in the middle of high-tech Fremont. The parcel remained like a ghost of the past in the midst of our fast-developing city, surrounded by expensive homes of technology-sector executives. Frank knocked on the door of the old house and the owner led him out to the back where, in what seemed like a time warp, there was a large garden and a few chickens and geese and some penned pigs and goats. Frank set up his equipment and got to work.
While he was concentrating on doing whatever surveyors do—I’ve never really been clear on exactly what that is—he saw a vague shape moving in back of him out of the corner of his eye. It turned out to be a large cow. Very large. Unpenned. Frank, who wasn’t used to farm animals, was a little alarmed. But he remained calm, until the cow started moving toward him. Then it started moving faster, until it was trotting. It was looking at him intensely with big cow eyes.
No longer calm, Frank left his equipment and began to head for the only way out he could see—a chain link fence that he would have to climb over. He looked back and saw the cow moving even faster, gaining on him. So Frank started moving faster too, until he was racing as fast as he could go. The cow started racing too. Frank made it to the fence just in time, got a good footing, scrambled up to the top and threw his leg over just before the cow got close enough to him to get a grip on his pant leg. He hoisted himself over the top and dropped down to the ground on the other side.
Then he turned to look at the cow. Looking lovestruck, it was staring right back at him. With those big cow eyes. And then Frank saw that a little girl had been following the cow. “Here I am, Daisy,” she said with great affection, “I’m right here, baby.” She reached Daisy, put her arms around her neck lovingly, looked up at Frank fiercely, and said, “She just wanted to be petted, mister.”
Frank’s retired now, and the farm is gone. It’s been turned into a tract of homes like the executive mini-mansions surrounding it, with a park or two added in. You know how it is with old familiar things that have been gone for a long time—eventually the day comes when you forget that they were ever there at all. That happens a lot in our ever-changing city. But whenever Frank passes the housing tract where the farm used to be, he always thinks of Daisy the cow, who was loved dearly by a little girl.