The sky was a deep blue and the sun was just passing overhead when Herbert the cow ambled over to Avinash the farmer. Avinash was just about to make his way in for lunch when Herbert the cow said…
Now, wait a minute. Let’s stop right here. Before we get any further into this story, I should probably make it clear that Herbert, the cow, wouldn’t be able to say anything to Avinash if this were a real story. You know that, right? Of course. Okay…
So, Herbert the cow ambled over to Avinash the farmer and said to him…
I mean cows obviously can’t say anything. They’re cows. They’re beautiful creatures, of course, and they’ve got wonderful qualities. They’re very strong, for example; they don’t use that strength to harm other animals, but it does come in handy to survive the cold winter months. However, they don’t have the power of speech that you and I have. Herbert wouldn’t be able to amble up to Avinash and say anything. Herbert’s an animal. And animals don’t speak or think the way we humans do. Their goal is to survive and breed. We, on the other hand, are intelligent beings. We have a soul. Our purpose on earth isn’t just to survive and breed. We… Shall I continue with the story? All right.
Herbert the cow ambled over to Avinash the farmer and said, “Old Avinash.”
Avinash replied, “Yes, Herbert.”
“I wonder if you could help me out with something.”
”Sure, what can I do?” Avinash said.
“A sort of disagreement has come up between Gertrude and me. We were talking about whether the stars…”
Wait. We all agree now that Herbert wouldn’t actually be having a conversation with Gertrude, correct? Cows don’t converse with each other—at least not the way we humans do; nothing beyond ”There’s some grass!” or ”I’m about to burst with all this milk.” Animals aren’t capable of thinking about the universe, or their place in it. This conversation about the stars makes for a good story, but as long as we realize that cows don’t see stars the way we see them. Come to think of it, their eyesight probably isn’t good enough for them to see stars at all.
Herbert said, “We were talking today about the stars we see at night. I believe that the stars are still there in the day and we just can’t see them. Gertrude believes that they disappear and don’t come out again until the sun goes down.”
“Well,” Avinash said, “Sounds like you two are having quite a discussion.”
You know, in all honesty, I’m starting to wonder if this is the best story to tell right now. What do you say we put this aside for now and try another book.