Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's Raining

I have often heard it said that cows are able to predict when rain is due. Apparently, pre-pissing-it-down, they start to lie down in their fields and cease eating grass. Country bumpkin hokum, or what?

Early this morning, I had occasion to walk through country lanes abutted by fields full of cows. It was a fairly sunny day. In fact, according to the BBC weather forecast on the Internet, the chances of rain today were as slight as those of Speaker Martin holding on to his job. Accordingly, I had set off coatless.

Anyway, half a mile or so into my walk, I noted that certain of the cows in the area were starting to lie down. A mile later, all of them were recumbent. Why? I asked myself, given the decent nature of the weather. I therefore scoffed, openly. Unfortunately, less than half an hour after, I could scoff no more. This is because clouds suddenly gathered and I got drenched by a fucking downpour which persists even now. So were the cows right?

No. After a certain amount of thought, I realized that the truth of the matter is this: Cows don't in fact predict rain by lying down, they actually cause it.

It's obvious when you think about it. Does it rain in the Sahara Desert? No. And how many recumbent cows are there in the Sahara Desert? Well exactly. Does it rain at the South Pole? No. Granted, it snows and it hails, but it never rains. And how many recumbent cows does one generally see on Antarctic expeditions? None. Then there are the Krubera Caves in Georgia. At nearly 7,000 feet below the surface, they are the deepest in the world. But does it rain in them? No. And how many cows do they contain? QED, or what?

What's actually here happening here is that, by lying down, the cows are absorbing the heat that rises naturally from the earth, cooling the air immediately above. This causes a low pressure area, which in turn produces rain. And, obviously, there's a direct correlation between the number of cows, their size, and the extent and severity of the rain.

This being so, we should export sleeping cows to arid areas in order to encourage rain. In this way, the Sahara might become a forest once more. Also, there are smaller applications. We could, for example, breed dwarf cows and have them lie down in our gardens. Then sprinklers would become obsolete. Hamster-sized cows could be produced and placed in washing machines and dishwashers, thus obviating the need to connect such appliances to the water mains (though you'd have to make sure your cat didn't eat them). The possibilities are limitless.

The only downside here, of course, is that midget cows would inevitably attract midget bulls. This could result in someone getting badly gored while he tried to extract his underpants from his Hotpoint Automatic. Or it could even attract midget matadors, who’d attempt to hold an entire corrida and sing "Votre toast, je peux vous le render" during the rinse cycle. But this is a small price to pay for finally achieving mastery of the elements.

1 comment:

K. McEgan said...

Unsure that midget cows work on a biological level. My Mum grew up on a farm and Ulster cows do not lie down before precipitation. Obviously Protestant cows differ. The Sahara. The only time I was there it rained. The Berbers & Arabs were most perplexed until I explained it was my ex-fiancees revenge. Georgia? How does one know the depth? Perchance a Georgian shouts up "Its fucking deep. Its as dark as Alamos brain in here. Fucking hell I FOUND Sigourds IQ here" Finally a cow related anecdote. I was in Dumfries hitching west. 3am. The cows were awake & munching contentedly in the summer night.