The Matter of the Invisible Cow
Sitting in the front cab of a U-Haul moving truck, at 8-years old, my feet couldn’t even touch the floor. I never could sleep in a moving vehicle and since I could not sleep, I was talking – which was why Mom sent me to sit in the truck with Dad at two o’clock in the morning. Mom followed close behind us in the car with the rest of the kids, each one sound asleep. It was my job to keep Dad awake.
Chattering away, asking questions, fidgeting in my seat, there was no way Dad would fall asleep with me in the cab. I have to admit, I was not really watching the road as I could barely see over the dash board. Suddenly, in the darkness, Dad flashed his high beams, swerved the big truck to the right, and slammed on his brakes. We skidded to a stop and I heard the car skid to a stop behind us.
“Did you see that cow?!” he bellowed, looking at me with excitement in his eyes. “He was just standing in the middle of the road!” His voice echoed against the mountain. “He could have killed us!” I didn’t see any cow.
Dad jumped out of the cab and ran back to Mom in the car behind us. I leaned out the open door, I didn’t see any cow. With waving arms and his voice booming in the night air, Dad was trying to convince Mom there was a cow in the middle of the road, eating grass, and that we all almost died, right there, at 2:04am on that curvy zigzagging mountain road, somewhere in the middle of Wyoming.
I looked out the open driver’s door, no cow. I rolled down my window and looked down the mountain on my side of the road, no cow. I could hear mom telling him that he was just tired, he was seeing things, and there was no cow on the road. To this day, I am certain the invisible cow never really existed.