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Friday Slide Show: A Purple Cow Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

31 May 2024

How we came to possess a purple cow is something we prefer not to divulge. It really wasn't our idea. Really. We're pretty sure, anyway. But who knows?

It's true that among Mom's knickknacks there was this bejeweled purple cow that sat on the kitchen window sill. Out standing in its field, as the joke goes.

And it's also true that this cow suffered a number of crippling catastrophes.

And finally we confess that, out of pity, we reassembled the parts using Elmer's glue and set the poor beast back on the window sill. Outstanding again.

So, naturally, when we were closing the house after Mom's death, we took the purple cow home and put it on our own window sill despite our high standard for the kind of knickknack we display around here.

Because, let's face it, the thing is tacky.

But could we enoble it with pretensions of art using our camera? What a challenge.

We gave it the Old College Try, inspired by Gelett Burgess's 1895 verse:

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

Our first attempt was a failure. But we persisted, inspired by Burgess yet again, who wrote a sort of second verse:

Ah, yes, I wrote the "Purple Cow"
I'm Sorry, now, I wrote it;
But I can tell you Anyhow
I'll Kill you if you Quote it!

Which about sums up what possessing a purple cow entails.

No one, particularly poets but also photographers, likes to be reminded of minor victories that overshadow their more satisfying successes.

Which is why we brought Mom's purple cow home. It reminds us in a most charming way we can do better.

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