Cousin Ollie and the robot spy cow

Burt’s Eye View

Things had been slow around the farm.

“You’re always slow,” Cousin Ollie chided.

I glared. But Ollie didn’t notice since he was jumping three or four paces ahead of me, as usual.

“I don’t run unless a bear’s chasing me. And since there aren’t any bears in our woods…”

Ollie snorted. “You ran pretty fast when that cow chased you around the pasture. I thought you’d at least slow down enough to shoot between the strands of barbed wire, not try to barrel straight through them.”

“I was climbing the fence and tripped.”

“Even the cow laughed at you dangling there with your flannel shirt hooked by the fence.”

“Shut up!” I crossed my arms. “Besides, I don’t think she’s a real cow. I think she’s a robot spy disguised as a cow.”

Ollie whipped around. “Oh, c’mon.”

“There’s no point for a real cow to run by herself. You can’t have a stampede with only one cow.”

Ollie rubbed his chin. “Maybe she wanted to lose weight. Cows can weigh more than 1,000 pounds, you know.”

“Nope. I think she’s a robot spy.”

“Why would a cow spy on you? You can’t even sneak cookies from the kitchen without getting caught.”

“Unlike you, maybe she knows I’m very clever.”

“You? The guy snagged by a fence?”

I planted my fists on my hips. “Maybe I’m in disguise, too. Maybe by night, I’m a superhero who fights crime and beats up bad guys.”

Ollie quirked an eyebrow. “Aren’t you the same guy who screamed like a baby, ‘Get it off, get it off!’ when you fell and that chicken walked over you?”

“Chicken claws are sharp.”

“I’m just saying you’re no more a superhero than Daisy is a robot spy cow.”

“I’ll prove it to you.” I led my weird cousin to the wooden gate of the pasture fence. We climbed over.

“Oops.” I nudged an upside-down feed box with my foot, covering a corner of red cloth that had poked out.

Ollie reached for the box.

“Don’t,” I cried.

It was too late. Ollie flipped over the wooden feed box. He plucked out a shiny, red cape. “What’s this?”

“It’s mine. You weren’t supposed to see that.” I snatched the cape and stuffed it under my T-shirt — but not before Ollie saw the letters “S” and “H” emblazoned on the cape.

The letters, of course, stood for “Super Hero.” They were a little off-center. It’s more difficult than it looks to write on shiny cloth with colored markers.

The stage had been set. Now onto Part 2.

I shuffled over to Daisy, who was munching the first blooms of spring. “Stand on that side,” I told Ollie.

I quickly unclipped some nuts, bolts and a little toy camera that I had hooked to Daisy’s still-shaggy winter hair with some of my sister’s barrettes.

“If she’s not a robot spy, then how come these are in her gearbox?” I stepped around the cow and displayed the robot spy evidence.

Ollie dashed around the Daisy. “Where’s the gearbox? I don’t see any hinges.”

“It’s disguised as genuine cowhide. And it’s on a time lock. You can’t open the secret panel for 48 more hours.”

“That’s not possible,” Ollie stammered.

“You’re right,” I said. “I’m kidding you. Daisy’s no more a robot spy cow than I am a superhero.” I let the cape fall from under my T-shirt, grabbed it and bundled it back under my T-shirt. “You didn’t see that. Nope, no robot spies or superheroes here. I gotta go get Daisy’s oil can.”

Ollie’s head snapped toward Daisy, then me, then Daisy and back to me as I shuffled away. I never felt more like a superhero. Things had been slow around the farm. But this day, I finally was too fast for Cousin Ollie.

Summon the hero at burton.w.cole@gmail.com or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.


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