A Bedtime Story for People of All Ages: 

The Tale of the Texas Bull Called Iraq and Econ, the Cow – Chapter 2


By Bernard Levy


(Note:  Chapter One was written in February, 2003, before President Bush invaded Iraq.  Daughter was five years old; Daughter is now eight, and Baby Brother is three years old.)


Daddy:  “Hey, kids.  The library had the new Rancher Bramble story about ‘The Tale of the Texas Bull called Iraq and the Cow named Econ.’  Let’s read it.


“We left George Bramble trying to ride the bull, Iraq.  As you will remember, Rancher Bramble was trying to tame Iraq so that he would mate with his favorite cow, Econ, and…”


Baby Brother:  “What’s ‘mate’ mean, Daddy?”

Daughter:  “Oh, that’s simple.  It means, like, becoming friends.  Doesn’t it, Daddy?”


Daddy:  “Yes.  Very good.  Rancher Bramble rode Iraq, and it appeared he tamed him.  Iraq calmed down and became a favorite animal on the farm.  He even tried to make friends with the horse, the other cows and a very talkative pig called ‘Oinky’.  He…”


Daughter:  “Daddy, can we see the pictures?”  I like it when animals make friends with each other.”


Daddy:  “Of course, kids.  Look; here’s Iraq making friends with Oinky.  Here’s Econ and the person on the farm Rancher Bramble hired to take care of Iraq, Halli Burton.  See, Halli Burton is giving Iraq food and medicines to keep him calm. 


“Well, Iraq calmed down, but it didn’t last long.  Iraq became very unruly again.  He broke down fences and threatened to hurt the other animals.  He needed special attention and a stronger corral.”


Baby Brother:  “He didn’t hurt Econ, did he?  It looks like she‘s growing.” 


Daddy:  “No, son, he didn’t hurt Econ.  Yes, Econ is growing because she’s going to have a baby, and she’s very happy.”


Daughter:  “What about Halli Burton?”


Daddy:  “Well, Rancher Bramble found out she wasn’t doing the job she was being paid to do.  However, Rancher Bramble looked the other way and didn’t fire her.” 


Daddy turned the page, showing Iraq getting angrier and angrier: “Rancher Bramble’s attempts to tame him were failing.  Rancher Bramble and his farmhands, Don and Dick, finally looked at the papers they received when they bought him.  They discovered Iraq had problems that caused great turmoil inside of him and probably was the reason why he was so angry most of the time.  Rancher Bramble, Don and Dick discussed this and privately agreed that, if they had known about these facts, they would never have bought him.  Rancher Bramble asked Don and Dick if they had these papers at the time they bought him from Farmer Billy Bob Clinton.  They said they had the papers before they bought him and perhaps they should have read them at that time.  Rancher Bramble sternly said, ‘Shhh, don’t tell anyone about that’.”


Daughter:  “Daddy, I don’t understand what all that means.  Does it mean Iraq had some problems inside of him that they should have known about before they tried to tame him?”


Daddy:  “Yes, that’s very good.  You’re a very smart little girl.”  (Daddy looked at pouting son.)  “Son, you’re very smart, too.  You know, Daughter is older, and she knows more.  But, you’re very smart, too.”


Daughter and Baby Brother, almost in unison:  “Daddy, we’re getting tired.  How does this story end?”


Daddy:  “Golly.  I’ve done it again.  There must be another part of the book I didn’t get at the library.  Well, I’ll have to end with something else.  What’ll it be, The Rooster in the Green Slippers or Finny Dorsal, the Talking Fish?” 


Baby Brother and Daughter whispered, and Daughter spoke:  “Oh, I know how much you like Finny Dorsal.  Read us that, please.”


Tune in to the next issue to discover:


Will Rancher Bramble tame Iraq?  Will Econ continue to grow?  Should people read important papers before they buy things?  What will happen to Halli Burton, only working because of Rancher Bramble’s, Dick’s and Don’s kindness?  Will the library ever have the last volume of the book?