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    The Fine Art of Cow Collecting

    Several months ago I ordered a new teapot. This is after not having one for several years. Every time Herman would make a cup of tea, he would simply boil water in a saucepan. This seemed so uncivilized to me.

    And then a catalog came in the mail. It was like divine intervention. When I opened the catalog, a cow teapot greeted me. The best thing about this teapot is the fact that when it boils, it does not whistle, but moo’s. I have never heard a real cow, but Herman has when he grew up on a dairy farm. He tells me that the moo the teapot makes is cute for a teapot, but sounds nothing like a real cow.

    We have named the teapot "Shirley" after a cow Herman had when he lived in Arkansas. He tells me the cow was named after his pastor’s wife there. I just found this out myself, and I had to share it with you. As I was typing this, he looked over my shoulders and said, "It was really no reflection on the pastor’s wife. She neither looked nor acted like a cow. I’m not sure why I named the cow that."

    Well, that’s his story. I never met Shirley, though she will always look like my cow teapot in my mind. Wherever you are, Shirley, I sincerely hope you don’t have a fat pink nose, as my teapot does.

    The cows have come to me in very innocent ways. The second cow I bought was at a yard sale just a few houses down from my own. It is a cookie jar with a cow dressed like a milkman. Not only does he have "The Sunshine Dairy" imprinted on his hat, but he has the spitting image of Sam, my adorable yellow feline, at his feet.

    We have named the cookie jar "Harvey" in honor of Shirley’s husband. Harvey is currently holding some vanilla sandwich cookies and some home made chocolate chip cookies. I’d like to tell you that I made these, but I can’t. I did, however, supervise Herman as he made them. The thing is, this particular recipe called for a teaspoon of vanilla, which of course we did not have.

    This problem was remedied thanks to our neighbor Felicia, who saved the day. She and her husband John are probably basking in the sunshine in Florida as you read this.

    Back to my cow collecting. A catalog came in the mail with these adorable salt and peppershakers. The salt is the front end of the cow, and the rear is the pepper. Well, I had to have them. The next day, Terry my aide, tells me she has a butter dish that is ceramic with cows on it, and would I like it? She told me she never used it, and it was sitting up in a cabinet. Well, what was I supposed to do?

    The star of the cow show has just arrived. It is a cow dust buster. And get this: it was back order! I guess I’m not the only one who has an affection for cows. The dust is collected in the udder which is pink and the extension looks like a tongue.

    I also need to tell you about my wind chime in the shape of a Holstein cow with three cowbells dangling beneath. It was getting whipped around by all the wind off the lake, so Herman moved it to a safer place towards the side of the house.

    This may seem a strange collection for a city girl. But Herman tells me, having grown up on a dairy farm, that this is as close as I’d ever really like to get to a real cow. Something about the smells of a cow barn in the springtime…

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"