A Red Cow in Panama

I didn’t believe in purple cows before reading Linda Leinen’s blog post about this strange animal. I thought it was only a literary illusion.  “There are no purple cows”, I said to myself when I first read Linda’s post dubbed, “Purpose Cows on Parade” on her exquisite blog The Task at Hand.

Her well written piece of literary work started with a cute poem written by Gelett Burgess:

“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.”

Then she went on and commented that it was possible to find a cow with that particular color if you looked hard enough at the pastures of Texas among Herefords, Angus and Guernseys cows.

‘Unlike Burgess, I never tired of  ‘The Purple Cow’.  I quoted it with abandon, and if my parents tired of my recitations, they never let on. As time passed, I became convinced that somewhere, in some verdant field among the Herefords, Angus and Guernseys, a Purple Cow was grazing. I intended to find it.”

She even wrote a witty poem about the possibility of finding the elusive purple cow somewhere on the verdant fields of Texas, or maybe beyond the great state with the lone star.

“I’ve not yet seen those Purple Cows,
but now I’ve grown more wise.
They won’t be hidden – not at all! –
if we open up our eyes.”

Then she commented again about the real existence of purple cows:

“I suppose to one degree or another we’re all Horatios – our vision imperfect, our grasp of the world’s wonders limited.  Still, we may have the last laugh on Burgess. Just over the ridge, out of sight, flank-deep in fields of unimaginably rich grasses, they stand there among the Herefords, the Angus and the Guernseys – waiting to be discovered.”

I stopped and wondered. What if there are purple cows hidden somewhere and I haven’t seen them?  Maybe I haven’t looked long and hard enough to find them.  Maybe we have to believe more and doubt less, the way children do when they talk about flying dragons, or green little elves, or flying pigs and so forth.

I looked and looked and looked again.  I started scrutinizing the cities and the back alleys.  I scanned my neighborhood and examined the parks and empty lots, but purple cows were not to be seen.  And then I started doubting.  “Linda, perhaps there are no such things as purple cows.”

But I keep on looking—up, down, around and beyond.  I looked towards my right and to my left, but the elusive purple cow was never to be found.  Then, on Christmas Eve my search came to an end.  At last my eyes saw a cow, but it was dressed in red.  At last I found what I was looking for.

Yep, Linda you were right all along.  If you look hard enough you will find purple or red cows waiting to be discovered.  I’m not fabricating this story up.  I have evidence to support my findings.  Take a look at a snapshot of a red cow in Panama.  Here we go.

Snapshot of a red cow which was purchased by Alcibiades, the father of the Twisters, for Paola the youngest of the three. It was one of her Christmas presents placed under the pine tree on Christmas Eve. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Yep Linda, there are indeed purple cows on the green pastures of Texas and red cows on the grasslands of Panama.  Everything is possible if you look long and hard enough for something.  That’s how dreams come true.  Good Day.

2 thoughts on “A Red Cow in Panama”

  1. Oh, my goodness, Omar! What a delight! This little heifer looks sturdy enough to ride – who knows where Paola and her cow will travel?

    There’s a wonderful song you may know. It’s called “C’est La Vie” and my favorite version is by Emmy Lou Harris. The last line is, “C’est la vie, said the old folks – it goes to show you never can tell!” You surely can’t – and you’ve just proved it again.

    Who knows what other surprises the New Year will hold?

  2. Hi Linda:

    When I saw the red toy cow, your blog post came immediately to my mind. It’s amazing how much information you can store inside your neurons.

    Your blog post about a purple cow was awesome, as all your literary work.

    I like the French expression, “C’est la Vie”. In Spanish it’s, “Así es la vida.” They are spelled almost identical.

    If you have your eyes wide open, you will always find surprises, no matter what.

    Warm Regards,


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