Purple Cow Suits

“I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one,
But I’d rather see one
Than be one.”
My mother taught my siblings and I that little bit of doggerel verse when we were small. It is the sort of rhyme loved by small children. I don’t know what significance it has for her, or who she learned it from. It makes me think of my mother. I taught it to my children and to my grandchildren. I suppose it makes them think of me. Having known that bit of verse as long as I can remember however, I was rather surprised when my family became the owners of half a dozen “purple cow suits”
They were originally created to be worn at a chili cook off that one of my brother-in-laws entered with an eye to promoting his business. Persons manning his booth were to wear the suits in order to attract attention and make his business “memorable”. I can testify from personal experience that donning such a suit does both of those things rather thoroughly. My brother once sent me a calender he made using family photos. For whatever reason, I began to page through it in a public place. Suddenly, there is a large picture of three of my female relations dressed as purple cows. There were also several people looking over my shoulder by then, going, “Who are those people?”. Since my family lives more than 1000 miles away the obvious temptation had to be resisted.
Once my family had these suits it seemed wasteful to just wear them the one time. So they were carefully saved and trotted out on “appropriate occasions”. It borders on miraculous how often such an occasion arises. You would expect to see them around Halloween of course and at the “Pumpkin Carving Contest” that my brother hosts every year (it seems to be a dress-up event) and the fact that neighbors and various friends have borrowed them is not too surprising. These purple cows get around, however. They have been to Hawaii. They have been on a couple of cruises. Most recently they went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans (where they had a wonderful time, by the way, despite coming home with pierced udders). We learned that purple cows attract an astonishing number of beads and an awful lot of people want to take pictures of purple cows.

I imagine that is because they are so rare. They are about to become an endangered species. There are only 3 left and one of those is beginning to look a bit the worse for wear. Perhaps we should take conservation measures or establish a breeding program. It seems that the next generation should have the opportunity to find out how much fun can be wrapped in a cow suit


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