Steve Herbert : Murder in the Cowshed

Funny how death sneaks up on you
And gives you a kind of a grab;
One day you may sing of the pleasures of spring;
The next you're ice-cold on a slab.

Take Zachary Johnson for instance,
A young man of infinite charm,
Good looking and clever, all rural endeavour,
Milking two hundred cows on the farm.

Now Zach was an old-fashioned fella'
As gentle and sweet as they came.
Every cow in the herd received a kind word
As he greeted each one by her name.

So Maisie and Bella and Katie
Would all feel the warmth of his hands.
To his touch soft as silk they would let down their milk
As he massaged their mammary glands.

But even a farmer has favourites
And in this Zach was just like the rest.
Lying close to his heart, two heifers so smart,
Were the ones he considered his best.

All black and white splotches was Jessie,
A monochromatic delight,
From her dainty white feet to her face, oh so sweet,
A Friesian to love at first sight.

And equally lovely was Bessie,
A Jersey both gentle and wise.
Her coat shining gold was a joy to behold;
You could drown in her liquid brown eyes.

All creatures need love and attention;
It's a key to their very survival.
A storm began brewing while Jessie stood chewing;
She perceived Bessie now as a rival.

Now bovine psychology's tricky,
For that any farmer can vouch.
Sigmund Freud in his prime couldn't foresee the crime
For you can't fit a cow on a couch.

See, a cow is a ruminant creature,
Looking peaceful behind that farm gate,
But as Jessie chewed cud, bitter jealousy's bud
Blossomed into a great flower of hate.

The motive was clear, the means lay at hand,
Opportunity not far beyond,
And Zach, with a crash and a soggy kersplash,
Flew into the effluent pond.

Now your average cow on an average day
Emits a small mountain of waste.
And then multiply, that's a mighty big pie
Of mucky and yucky green paste.

A week's worth would swallow a mammoth,
In a month you could launch a small ship,
And I'd have to say with a fragrant bouquet
That it's far from ideal for a dip.

Sad to say that young Zach was no swimmer
And his gumboots they weighted him down.
Four hundred sad eyes all saw his demise
As the herd watched poor Zachary drown.

Now Marple and Maigret and Holmes and Poirot,
Columbo and Lord Peter Wimsey
Would have to concede that this case has them treed,
The evidence faint, flawed and flimsy.

Two hundred witnesses, all of them mute,
(Apart from the odd burp or moo),
No noose gun or knife that may take a man's life.
No body – that's still in the poo.

Though Bessie the Jersey may roll her brown eyes,
Fair Jessie walks free as a bird.
The old farmer's sunk but the new one's a hunk
“And my God, those warm hands! Have you heard?

Steve Herbert