© 2020


By Eric Anthony Kallins

This is a story of strong emotions: Jealousy, Frustration, Envy and Desire.  It’s a story of a Bull.

I moved up from LA to Northern California, renting a charming 100 year old farmhouse in Petaluma at a reasonable rate. It was on a huge piece of land, probably once a ranch. I could walk around the property for hours; it seemed like a mile deep. My nearest neighbor was my landlady, who lived in a more elaborate version of my country house, about 100 yards away.

In between were a barn, some sheds, and a trailer from which the family ran a small trucking business. To the right of my front yard and my house was a fenced in area, more or less triangular in shape. One day a bull appeared in this fenced yard. I didn’t think much of that, since there was so much land on our property, why not lease that plot to a bull. But soon the trouble started.

Across the street was another bull, but this bull had cows! This evidently was a big problem, because my bull had no cows. My bull went to the point of the triangular plot closest to the bull across the street and started making a fuss. He’d stomp his front hooves until he was obscured by dust, snorting and making an angry, frustrating ruckus. I could see the problem immediately – the neighbor bull had cows and he did not! This went on for a few days, until I decided to help him. I went to the trailer where my landlords ran their trucking company and asked if my bull could have some cows. Much to my surprise, a day later some cows (with calves) appeared on my lot. Who says there’s nothing to lose by just asking? What happened next surprised me even more:

My bull herded all his newly acquired cows to the front corner of his yard, tightly packed against the fence. Then he started snorting and stomping his hooves to get the attention of the across-the-street bull, who herded his cows against his fence and started snorting & stomping back. Pretty soon both corners were obscured by dust & noise as the bulls expressed themselves in a bullish manner. I was satisfied that my bull (through my compassionate initiative) had cows too! I wondered what the cows thought of this, but they probably thought, “whatever”, bulls will be bulls.

After a few days, things began to settle down. Being a musician, I went back to getting my songs ready for my upcoming CD. My electric piano faced a window to the above mentioned yard. I looked up, and to my surprise, there were three cows staring back at me through the window. It’s amazing how large cow’s heads are when staring back at them face to face, close up. I thought fine, I’ll take any audience I can get, but what happened next was discouraging.

After a few minutes, into my first song, the cows turned, gathered their calves and walked to the opposite side of the field, as far away as they could. They gave it a listen, and decided they didn’t like my music, singing & songs. God, I thought, I couldn’t even please cows! Talk about tough critics!

Well, that’s one of many stories of my stay in Petaluma. The above story is true; I could not make this up.