blog text by BeaG

BG 134 – De Klapkoe

Vanmorgen kwam De Maakster op haar dagelijkse wandeling door Rustig Belgisch Dorp langs de Noensewegel, een idyllisch fiets/voetpad met aan de rechterkant, achter een hek van gaas en daarna een slootje, koeien in weilanden. Het was gebruikelijk bij mooi weer dat er zich in één van de weilanden een groep koeien bevond, maar deze keer had de boer ze verspreid over meerdere, waarschijnlijk omdat er kortgeleden gehooid was en er per veld niet veel te eten was overgebleven.

De Maakster bleef stilstaan om te kijken naar een koe die vlak bij haar, op een meter van het slootje, lag te herkauwen en daarbij telkens haar gebit met een opmerkelijk lawaai op elkaar klapte. Alsof ze een slechtzittend kunstgebit had.
Het was eigenlijk maar een lelijk dier. Ze had een vuilwitte kleur met hier en daar wat lichtgrijze vlekken, die er uitzagen alsof je ze er met een tuinslang zo af zou kunnen spoelen. Maar ze had iets speciaals: dat geklap met haar tanden. Het beest kwam moeizaam met haar dikke langgerekte lijf op vrij korte poten overeind, totdat ze schuin naar De Maakster toegedraaid in de wei stond.

Terwijl ze De Maakster aankeek, sloeg de koe eerst luidruchtig met haar rechteroor tegen haar kop, waarschijnlijk om lastige vliegen te verjagen, daarna even luid met haar linkeroor, ‘pets, pats!’. Vervolgens sloeg ze met een opnieuw opmerkelijk hard geluid haar staart tegen haar linkerflank en daarna tegen haar rechter, ‘swoesjbeng, swoesjbang!’. En om het af te maken klapte ze nog twee keer hard haar gebit op elkaar. De Maakster was verbaasd. Ze kwam hier vaak langs, maar had nog nooit een klapkoe meegemaakt. Het beest bukte haar kop en beet ‘hap!’ een pluk gras af, waarop ze er met meer klapgeluiden op kauwde.

De Maakster klakte met haar tong tegen haar gehemelte, ‘tjk, tjk’, en ja hoor, de koe herhaalde het hele luidruchtige ritueel. Rechteroor tegen haar kop, linkeroor tegen haar kop, ‘pets, pats!’, staart tegen haar linkerflank, tegen haar rechterflank, ‘swoesjbeng, swoesjbang!’ en haar tanden twee keer ‘klap klap’ hard op elkaar.
Toen De Maakster nog een keer ‘tjk, tjk’ deed, herhaalde het beest warempel dezelfde routine.

Hoofdschuddend vervolgde De Maakster haar wandeling en hoorde achter zich nog een paar keer – ter afscheid? – het ‘klap, klap’ van het gebit van de koe. De klapkoe.

BG 134 – The Clap Cow

This morning The Maakster on her daily walk through Quiet Belgian Village came along the Noensewegel, an idyllic bicycle/footpath with on the right, behind a wire mesh fence and then a ditch, cows in meadows. It was customary in good weather for a group of cows to be in one of the meadows, but this time the farmer had spread them over several ones, probably because he had recently made hay and there was not much left to eat per field.

The Maakster stopped to look at a cow that lay close to her, a meter from the ditch, ruminating, each time banging her teeth together with a remarkable noise. As if she had bad fitting dentures.
It was really just an ugly animal. It had a dirty white color with a few light gray spots here and there that looked like you could just rinse them off with a garden hose. But she had something special: that clapping of her teeth. The beast struggled to get up with her thick elongated body on rather short legs, until she stood in the meadow at an angle to The Maakster.

While looking at The Maakster, the cow first slapped her head noisily with her right ear, probably to scare away annoying flies, then just as loudly with her left ear, ‘smack, wack!’. Then, with another remarkably loud noise, she slammed her tail against her left flank and then her right, ‘swush boom, swush bang!’ And to top it off, she clapped her teeth hard twice more. The Maakster was amazed. She passed by here often, but had never encountered a clap cow. The beast stooped her head and bit off ‘chomp!’ a tuft of grass, then chewed it with more clapping sounds.

The Maakster clicked her tongue against her palate, ‘tjk, tjk,’ and sure enough, the cow repeated the whole boisterous ritual. Right ear to her head, left ear to her head, ‘smack, wack!’, tail against her left flank, against her right flank, ‘swush boom, swush bang!’ and her teeth ‘clap clap’ hard together twice.
When The Maakster did ‘tjk, tjk’ one more time, the beast actually repeated the same routine.

Shaking her head, The Maakster continued her walk and heard behind her a few more times – as goodbye? – the ‘clap, clap’ of the cow’s teeth. The clap cow.

BG 130 – Curb our greed

What if we stop producing and consuming a lot of unnecessary products? Those products that are produced only to keep the economy going and to fill the infinitely deep pockets of the rich industrialists. Especially disposable products.
What if we focus on what we really need and produce that in the most sustainable way possible?
That we make considerations: better a little more of this and a little less of that.
On the Earth’s surface that we now use to produce meat, especially beef, we can grow a hundred times as much plant-based food.
That way we also remove a lot of carbon from the air, instead of adding more to it.
We don’t necessarily have to become vegetarians, after all we are omnivores by nature, but a few days a week without meat will do us no harm, if we make sure that we get the nutrients we miss that way through other products.
What if we strive for a circular economy, in which waste materials form the raw materials for the production of other, sustainable products?
In which we give away what we no longer need to …

Read More »BG 130 – Curb our greed

BG 129 – Why healthy?

I used to live in a time when you still
had to answer yourself for healthy living,
instead of unhealthy.
A time when you ate (sweets) without limits,
because diabetes was only for old people,
and you were naturally slim.
A time when you had to come up with
strong arguments not to smoke
and to refuse to drink alcohol,
(and to read many books and
to enjoy doing your homework.)
Healthy living was still for wimps back then.

BG 128 – Special Compliment

Special compliment from a visitor:
‘I have looked at your blog and find it beautiful and interesting!
But it seems like something goes wrong when I look at it: all I see is black and white and gray, the colors seem to have disappeared.
You better fix that.’

BG 96 – What we are looking for

We all find what we are looking for.

If we look for negativity, for destruction, decay, degradation, quarrels, for doomsday scenarios and for differences between us and the other, we will find those.

But if we look for love, for construction, positivity, cooperation, for solutions to difficult problems and for similarities between us and the other, we will find THOSE.

Our happiness in life largely depends on what we look for, what we focus our attention on, and what we put our energy into.