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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesPeck's Sunshine - The Pious Deacon And The Worldly Cow
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Peck's Sunshine - The Pious Deacon And The Worldly Cow Post by :loudenson Category :Long Stories Author :George W. Peck Date :May 2012 Read :1931

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Peck's Sunshine - The Pious Deacon And The Worldly Cow

One of those incidents that cause a pious man to damn the whole animal creation occurred at Janesville last week. A business man that we all know, got up last Tuesday morning and took a walk down by Monterey, to view the beauties of nature and get up an appetite for breakfast. He is a man who weighs close onto 150 pounds, though he is as kitteny as anybody when occasion calls for kittenishness.

Gazing into the crystal waters of Rock River, it occurred to him that he would take a bath, so he disrobed himself, laid his clothes upon the ground and plunged in. He had been sporting with the wavelets, and waving with the sportlets for some minutes, when he heard a bellowing on shore, and he looked up to see a cow pawing the ground and running her horns into his clothes. You know how the smell of blood or carrion will cause the mildest mannered cow to get on her ear and paw the ground and bellow. Not that there was any blood or carrion there, but the cow acted that way. She may have got the smell of a Democrat from his clothes. Anyway she made Monterey howl, and the large man in the water dove down for stones to throw at the cow. She had run one horn through one leg of his pants, and the other horn through the broad part, and was engaged in chewing his shirt, when a rock struck her on the rump and she started off with those two garments for the blind asylum, where she evidently belonged, shaking her head to get the pants off her horns, and chewing the shirt as though it was a bran mash..

The pious man rushed out of the water towards the cow and said "co-boss, co-boss," but she took one look at his shape and turned away and didn't co-boss very much. A war map of the thoughts of this Janesville business man, as he saw the cow go away, would sell well, if it was illustrated by a picture of a native Zulu picking buchu leaves. He said he was a pious man, and had always tried to lead a different life, and do the fair thing, but hereafter he would be blanked if he wouldn't kill every blanked cow that he came across.

The only things the cow had left were his hat, vest and shoes and stockings. He put them on and started after the cow. The vest was one of these grandfather's clock vests, that stop short, never to go again, a sort of emigrant vest, that comes high. It was not a long, lingering, emotional vest; it was not what would be called a charitable vest, because charity begins at home, and covers a multitude of back pay into the treasury. He tried to remember some of the ten commandments, to repeat, but the only one he could call to mind was "Pull down Thy Vest."

His eyes swept the horizon to see if anybody was looking, and he could see that the grounds about the blind asylum were alive with people of both sexes. He thanked heaven that by the inscrutable ways of Providence, people were made blind, but his joy at the calamity was mingled with sorrow when he thought that the teachers at the asylum were endowed with the most perfect eyesight.

As the cow neared the gate of the grounds he made one effort to head her off, but she run by him, and then he attempted to take his pistol from the hind pocket of his pants to kill himself, when he realized again that he was indeed barefooted from his vest to his stockings, and he sat down under a tree to die of slow starvation, but before he began to starve he got up again and resumed an upright attitude, on account of ants. It is a picnic for a nest of ants to partake of a human being who has lost his or her trousers, as the case may be, and he followed the cow, saying "co-boss" in the most pitiful accents that were ever used by a Janesville man.

The cow looked around, and as she did so the pants caught on a sapling and were pulled off her horns and dropped upon the ground. The pious man looked upon this as a direct interposition of Providence, and he was sorry he swore. He got into his trousers so quick that it made his head swim, and just as the crowd at the asylum had come down to the gate to see what strange looking calf was following the cow home, the man started on a run for town, leaving the shirt with the cow.

The people at the asylum have the shirt, and it has the initials of the man worked in the neck band, but he will never call for it. One sleeve is chewed off, and the bosom is rent with conflicting emotions and cow's teeth. The man sells nails and skimmers with a far off expression, and don't want cows to run at large any more.

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