Thursday, July 26, 2012

Little Boy Blue, There Are Cows in the Corn!

This little Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme came to mind early this morning as I walked the dogs:

Little Boy Blue,
 Come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow,
 The cow's in the corn;
Where is that boy
 Who looks after the sheep?
Under the haystack
 Fast asleep.
Will you wake him?
 Oh no, not I,
For if I do
 He will surely cry.

Why? Because there were cows in the farmer’s corn! Many cows! And my first thought was they were not supposed to be there.

You'll have to enlarge this image to see some of the cows in the corn!

It has not been a good year for corn crops in this area, owing to the lack of rainfall at the corn’s critical development stage. However, behind our house, in the distance, there is a low-lying area in which corn was planted. We have watched it thrive and not become affected by the lack of rain. Just a few days ago we commented this may be the only cornfield in the county which will yield corn to the farmer.

I decided to do my good deed for the day and telephone the man who either rents or owns this field. When I told him the reason for my call, that I’d seen cows there eating his corn, he seemed not to hear me. “Oh, you are welcome to go out there and pick all the corn you want,” he said. He went on to explain that the corn ears did not properly form, but if one cut the undeveloped tips off, it was still some “good eating.”

An ear of freshly picked corn

“I’ve already gathered all the corn I want from the patch, so we just turned the cows in there. But you get all you want.” I thanked him, but explained again that my call was just to alert him of the cows' presence there -- to ensure those weren't errant cows -- and that I’d pass on gathering corn for myself.

A corn field. They have not looked green this year, due to the lack of rainfall.
He thanked me profusely, but I hope he didn’t think I was some busybody trying to mind his business. I have also called him in years past when I saw a fence down or an escaped cow roaming around.

“Roastn’ ears” is a term many country people use to describe corn at its peak and ready for roasting, or any other way one cares to prepare it. Have you heard that term? 

Because I hadn’t heard it in many years, it made me smile, remembering how good those “roastn’ ears” tasted when they were picked, brought to the house and prepared for dropping into a kettle of boiling water! A little butter and salt on the side makes that corn taste like a little bit of heaven. So maybe I should make that trek down to the corn patch and gather a few “roastn’ ears” for tonight’s table.

Fresh corn roasted on the grill

Only problem is, the grass is tall and I’m afraid of snakes, especially after seeing a long black one in my front yard this morning. I almost stepped on it, but fortunately was wearing my yellow rubber boots. But it was a long snake!

And I fear the tall grass between me and the corn is full of those critters.

On second thought, I think beans or peas will work quite well with tonight’s dinner.

Happy Thursday to you.


  1. You did very well in informing about the cows on the cornfield. I don´t know, if it is healthy or not, for the cows to eat corn?
    Now, if our horses were on an oat field, that would mean b i g trouble, and I´d definitely be wished to be informed, asap.
    But, I know nothing about cows..
    Fresh roasted corn with butter= delicious. Way over here in Finland, we too have learned to eat it!
    Snakes, terrible. I´m afraid of snakes. We have only one poisonous species over here, but I have not seen one in many years.
    Have your dogs ever been bitten by a snake? Hopefully you have the first aid cortisone available!

    1. I think grass-fed cattle is the tradition, but cows these days are fed corn to fatten them up to get them to market faster. I've heard that too much corn is not a healthy thing to do, and could kill them. Ha-ha, am glad you like corn too! I know that in some Western European countries, corn is though of as for animals only! Such a culinary loss for people! We don't see snakes very often, and I'm not sure the dogs have ever seen one; no, never been bitten by a snake.

  2. I think you did the right thing informing the farmer,over here we keep a watch for any unusual happenings,and the farmers are always grateful.
    Love fresh corn cobs,yum. We have a field of wheat one side of us,the other is oats just starting to ripen they will be harvested in August. Ida

    1. Is corn much raised in England, Ida? Not much wheat and oats raised here in the Southern states of the U.S.; primarily corn and soybeans and some cotton. In previous days, it was all cotton. The huge corn crops are raised in the Midwestern states.

  3. Your story is great! I can almost hear those cows mooing with pleasure at having the whole corn field to themselves. And then the idea of tromping through the grass, scaring the snakes out of your way in your yellow boots. Very cool!

    1. I can report that I did NOT go out to get than corn. And three days later (Sunday) the cows are still there! I hope eating so much doesn't make them sick. :-(

  4. Roasted corn with butter - delicious! There is no way I would enter a cornfield, or a sugarcane field, or any other crop, here in Australia. Snakes are certainly likely, and we have many poisonous ones. However, I would also be concerned to see cows eating the corn; can't be good for them, surely. Little Boy Blue: brings back memories, as I dressed my son as this character way back when he was 3. He was sooooo cute, and won I prize if I remember correctly. Or was that just a proud mother's fantasy? He is here for the weekend, going on 36 these days, and father of our grandson Little Aussie.

  5. Yes some sweetcorn is grown mostly in the North,but is not harvested til early September.

    Little Boy Blue is also one of our well known nursery rhymes.Ida

    1. I have never outgrown my love of nursery rhymes!

  6. Great story! Have not thought of Little Boy Blue in so many years. Can almost taste that corn from the great pictures.

    1. Maybe we can find some sweet corn for sale soon!

  7. Cute illustration for the nursery rhyme. I like corn well enough but am certain I would do without if it meant risking a face to face with a snake. Ohhh boy!


  8. Snakes are not my friends! By the say, today, July 31, there are still cows out there eating corn!!


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