Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana with a vengeance. Wind gusts swelled to more than 150 miles an hour, knocking out power to more than one million homes with torrential rains causing widespread flooding. Ida wasn’t just raining cats and dogs. Apparently, it was even raining cows.
I grew up near the Cedar River. Every couple of years, it would flood and leave all sorts of things behind, stuck in trees, on the lawn, on roads that had been submerged. After the big flood of 2008, there were large tree limbs still stuck to the top of the Ivanhoe Bridge where the flood water had left them. There was a propane tank that had floated from miles away, resting in the middle of a muddy corn field. Bits of Styrofoam, weeds and the occasional glass bottle were wedged in tree limbs as high as you could reach. Once, I even saw an old row boat stuck in a tree. But no cows.
As the flood water receded in Louisiana, city crews began the grim task of cleaning up after the disaster, hauling off the damaged cars, trash cans, basketballs, lawn furniture and Mason jars full of string beans. In St. Bernard Parish, Tyler Acosta, David Palmer and Roy Ragan Sr. were out clearing away the rubble when they came across a live cow, stuck in a tree where it had apparently floated and become wedged between the limbs.
There is a video of the government employees struggling to get the thousand-pound bovine safely back on terra firma. You have to give these guys credit. This wasn’t like getting a cat out of a tree. The operation called for some careful engineering, not to mention, animal psychology. And to its credit, the cow appeared calm and patient, even with the roar of the chain saws and crackling branches, munching on some leaves while it waited. The rescue was nothing short of heroic. Less courageous individuals might have taken a pass on this one and left the cow where it was.
“Sir, we did find your cow. Yes, she’s all right. Maybe a bit nervous. You can go pet her if you like. You will need a tall ladder. Good luck, we’re going to lunch now.”
You will be relieved to know that, incredibly, the cow made it safely back to earth and was returned in good health to its grateful owner. The video of the rescue went viral, instantly collecting over 75,000 views and prompting numerous smart-alecky comments like, “Where’s the beef?” And, “shish kabob.” And “not ground beef.” And, “This is such a mo-o-o-ving story.”
If that cow could talk, what tales it could tell her grandchildren. “You want to hear about the time I was carried off in a hurricane flood and spent two days up in a tree?” “Oh, sure, Grandma!”