When spring starts to springing
and it feels like it’s May,
the grass starts to growing
and you quit feeding hay.

Marchant paul hat
Freelance Writer
Paul Marchant is a rancher and freelance writer in southern Idaho. Follow Paul Marchant on Twitte...

The school kids are restless.
The learnin’ is done.
They’ve had enough teachin’.
They’re ready for fun.

But the seniors are nervous.
The future is near.
It’s been 12 long years,
but the end is nigh here.

Where to go, how to get there,
when do I go, and then how?
Well, I’ll give you an answer:
Why not follow a cow?

Oh, the places you’ll go
if you follow a cow!
I know it sounds silly,
but wait. Hear me out.


There are other options.
That, I’ll surely concede.
To argue that fact,
well there’s really no need.

A cow is just stupid.
She eats and she farts.
Still, I’m fond of this creature,
so I’ll speak from the heart.

She’ll bust through the wires
and she’ll tear up the fence.
She could go through the gate,
but then, that would make sense.

Whether high on a mountain
or the wide open prairies,
out in the high desert
or on Wisconsin’s dairies –

She’ll take you to places you’d never have thought.
She’ll make you buy things that you’d never have bought.

You think that I’m crazy.
You’ll call me insane,
but she’ll take you to places I can’t even name.

You can follow her through all the great halls of learning.
She’ll get your head thinking and your passions to burning.

Manhattan or Bozeman,
Ames or Corvallis,
Lincoln or Pullman,
through Fort Worth or Dallas –

Cow towns like Thedford or Elko or Rawlins,
who knows?
You might go to Denver by way of Fort Collins.

Torrington’s famous to folks of cow nation,
and heaven forbid we forget College Station!

Buckaroos, punchers,
Cowboys and crackers,
Feeders and truckers
and even the packers.

Teachers and learners
and day help and bosses –
all have a stake in the wins and the losses.

So, please don’t dismiss her, this noblest of creatures.
She’s really equipped with some pretty nice features.

She’s proven her worth whether slick or hide-branded,
and it mattereth not if you’re left or right-handed.

She’s milk and she’s beef
and she’s cheese and she’s glue.
She’s Big Macs and tacos and leather in shoes.

She’s shown that she’s able to impress and inspire.
Without her we’d have neither grills nor barbed wire.

Without any cows, then we have no ranch brandin’s,
and none of us worship at the Temple of Grandin,

Mitloehner’s not teaching about greenhouse gases
to calm the strange fears of hysterical masses.

There’s no Harlan Ritchie, no Miles McKee,
no Derrell Peel, and there’s prob’ly no me.

And if not for the bovine
(I wish he were back),
We’d not know the genius of one Baxter Black.

So, if your future’s not certain as you don cap and gown,
don’t let yourself worry, don’t get yourself down.

If you want to do good and make the world better,
then take my advice – heed it right to the letter.

Oh, the great things you’ll do as you set hand to plow!
Oh, the places you’ll go, if you follow a cow!