Charlie the Blind Cow

Written by Ben Brashear

Proluge: Charlie was a real cow and he was blind and a gentle soul.  Dad lived on a farm for a while near where the Embarrass (sometimes pronounced Am-braw) River in Southern Illinois and gave Charlie a home there.  Around four acres of sprawled space with a pasture and a sturdy house on a hill overlooking the flood plains. Sometimes in the winter the water shelf would rise up into the fields running along both sides of long gravel lane so high that we’d have the best ice skating rink any kids could ever hope to have.  I know it must have been a risk for farmers to plant very much in those fields in front of dad’s place.  But things would grow just the same.  Waters rose and receded.  Things thrived and that place out away from the noise of town is rich with stories in the backwaters of my mind.


“Merry Christmas To All”, were nearly Charlie’s final words

The blind cow in the truck, taken far from his close herd

His family knew well that this Christmas time would have no cheer

Charlie would give his life, for roast beef washed down with beer

The sheep in the barn awaiting, bayed softly on that night

A tribute to their friend, softly lit by candle’s light

The deer in the field strayed close, now nearer to the road

A row of all to see Charlie as the farmer prepared the load

His family knew dairy cows of the herd rarely found this fate

The farmer in the back now, just closing up the truck’s gate

If Old Charlie could only see, with eyes, what friends he had in life

For his heart was stout and true, and he bore no fear this night

The chickens heard the roar of the engine’s lonely moan

The rooster let aloud a mournful “Crrrock-a-crrrock-a-croan”

Inside the house was brightly lit, a tree filled all in light

Outside, in the dark, a small Ford truck now driving out of sight

Charlie was a cow who cared for every single leaf and tree

He treasured life, despite no sight, for in his heart he could see

He remembered the soft blades of grass, the smell of fresh mown hay

A lifetime full of friends stood by, as Charlie went away

The deer ran quickly in front of the truck, tires squealing in the night

The farmer cursing loudly, many deer now in his sight

The chickens pecked out from their pens, soared bravely through the air

Two bulls stomped quickly through the fence, charged bravely as a pair

The farmer caught now by surprise, Charles’ friends gathering in a sphere

A lifetime full of close companions to witness the farmer’s fear

The lead bull drew close, about to speak, as animals can do this night

For it was Christmas Eve at 12 and Charlie was granted his sight

He saw the snow fall softly, watched his friends defend his life

He saw his father in the field, grown old and full of strife

He looked upon the barn, where many summers he had passed

He watched his mother’s hopeful tears, her eyes now turned to glass

But last of all he saw the farmer, sensed fear within his heart

He knew that this was the final chance, his freedom to depart

He could not help but see the cuts the farmer bore upon his hands

How many days the farmer walked the fields and tended to the land

“What strife the human bore in life to provide me with a home

We all should understand his sacrifice, his family all alone

The days have passed and in winters long in dark nights he would come

And fill our stalls with summer’s hay, humbly tending to all work is done”

“What days have we gone without food? I remember not a one

What times have I blindly stumbled, broken legs not solved with a gun

He cared for me and call old Doc Vaps, patched me up without a knife

Again through fields, though blindly stumbling like we all do in this life”

Charlie and the farmer understood, not a life would end tonight

An exchange of smiles for all who stood in such magical moonlight

We live with friends who really understand our perils and our pain

Even when we feel alone, with no life’s joy to gain

So let’s celebrate this Christmas with much more joy and lots of cheer

And hold our families close to our heart, let fall each happy tear

Let’s understand our place in this world, the part we all must play

To lead a life from start to end, as if our final day


One thought on “Charlie the Blind Cow

  1. Charlie the blind cow – prologue. We will have to compare stories when we are together again. I spent the first 11 years in the bottoms of the Wabash down in Gibson Co. Long time ago but the memories are still there. Enjoyed your poetry!!

    Liked by 1 person

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