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Step One: Consult a professional.
Buy a bag of discarded bones and meat scraps from your butcher. Take them home and plant them. Be sure to use good potting soil and water regularly. You don’t have to wait long. In late spring, early summer, you will see the tips of horns, and ears waving at you if there is enough wind. You will see entire heads bursting forth like filthy swimmers breaking the surface of an undulating, dirty little sea.
No matter how urgent your hunger, how great your need, don’t be impatient. Resist the temptation to yank them out of the ground at first sighting. Let nature help you by doing its work. And if you do, you will see the entire row that you have planted, growing into fully grown, matured cattle as your garden is magically transformed by a chorus of moos.
Step Two: So much meat. Where to begin.
Take a large serving spoon, the size you might use for scooping a generous serving of scalloped potatoes from a casserole dish. Carefully dig around individual cows, loosening the dirt until you get past the shoulders and hips, until you begin to see cow legs. Grab them. Grab then and, working with your spoon, loosening dirt with one hand while pulling on the legs with the other. You should, through your labors, soon be able to extract the cow from the ground where, in no time, it will be ready for slaughter.
Step Three: Don’t just stand there. There’s more work to be done.
Don’t stand there admiring your achievement. First you must welcome the cow, embrace it, help it celebrate sunshine, the wind, and an entirely new experience of life. As soon as that’s over, you must kill the cow, extracting the meat as soon as possible. The freshest meat is the best, and all those unused organs… all that blood from the butchering, goes right back into the soil, replenishing it with vital nutrients for the next planting.
Note: The best part of the cow is the tenderloin. This part will only reveal itself once you have your cow right where you want it…In little bitty pieces, speckled with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, in a pool of in its own juices and A-1 Steak Sauce, over charcoal.
Step Four: Have a plan. Thinking ahead.
Next season, because cows will in time drain the nutrients (specifically nitrogen, fluoride and antioxidants) from the soil, you are going to want to consider planting green beans, corn, soybeans, or cilantro, followed by chickens, squash, hogs, spring lamb, short ribs, bacon, or maybe carrots and turnips, then back to cows, or perhaps children (mostly boys) if you are considering starting a family. Remember though, to begin with a prayer; an incantation according to your faith…words of gratitude for your hoped for bounty, for this privilege.
Steve Vermillion is a writer and editor living in Northern California. He is a contributing editor at tNY Press. His recent work appears in print and online in a variety of magazines. In 2014 he was nominated for a 'Best of the Net' award in Short Stories, as well as receiving Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train Magazine's Short Story of the Year.