A Bedtime Story for People of All Ages: 

The Tale of the Texas Bull Called Iraq and the Cow Named Econ – Chapter 3


By Bernard Levy


(Note:  Rancher Bramble and his ranch hands, Don and Dick, are still puzzled why their bull.  Iraq, can’t be tamed and become a member of the democratic ranch community.  When Rancher Bramble, Don and Dick finally read Iraq’s purchase papers, they discovered Iraq had serious internal problems when they purchased him.  Daddy is reading the next chapter to daughter and baby brother.)



Daddy:  “Gather ‘round, kids.  I just got chapter three of “The Tale of the Texas Bull Called Iraq and the Cow Named Econ.”  Let’s read it together.”


Daughter:  “Does this new book have pictures and pop-ups like the other ones did?”


Daddy:  “Yes, it does.  Here they are.  See, Ranch Bramble and his ranch hands, Don and Dick, looking at papers and scratching their heads.  They know why Iraq, the bull, had some past problems, but they can’t figure out what the new problems are.  See Halli Burton giving Iraq medicine for his old problems, but the medicine is not working anymore.  Iraq is doing bad things again.”  


Baby Brother:  “Like when I take my crayons and draw on the walls?”


Daddy:  “Yes, something like that.  You see, Rancher Bramble paid a lot of money for Iraq and he wants to see his investment in Iraq pay off.  He …”


Daughter:  “What about the pretty cow Econ?  How is she doing?”


Daddy:  “Look at the next page.  There she is, smiling and chewing grass, although you get the feeling that perhaps everything is not alright.  See the little calf following her?  That’s her little baby girl, and she looks healthy and happy, too.  However, the grass is getting dry because of the hot summer weather, and there’s no rain in sight.  Rancher Bramble and ranch hand Dick are a little concerned about whether Econ and her calf will continue to be happy and healthy, but the big worry right now is Iraq. 


“They finally asked for advice from old Doc Harmy, the veterinary doctor who, in the old days, use to take care of the horses the Army Calvary soldiers used.  He is very old and very wise.  See him examining Iraq?”


Daughter:  “He looks very old, but he probably knows a lot of medicine that can help Iraq.  Isn’t that right, Daddy?”


Daddy:  “Well, Rancher Bramble and his ranch hands sure hope so.  After Doc Harmy examined Iraq, he asked Rancher Bramble several questions, including what other animals were friendly with Iraq before he became angry and bad again.  Rancher Bramble told the doctor that Iraq had made friends with many of the ranch animals, including Oinky, the pig.  Doc Harmy decided to also examine Oinky.


“See, he’s examining the pig, and you can see that he found something. See the light bulb in the bubble over his head?”


Daughter:  “Yes, you told us about that once before.  That means he has an idea and has learned something, right?”


Daddy:  “Very good, daughter.  He found that Oinky has lice, tiny little creatures that are harmful to animals and people.  These little insects actually suck blood and…”


Daughter and Baby brother, almost in unison:  “Ugh!  That’s terrible!  I hope none of those insects got on Econ and her baby.”


“See, there’s Doc Harmy telling Ranch Bramble, Dick and Don the reason for Iraq’s problems now is that lice have infected Iraq.”


Baby brother:  “Can Doc Harmy help Iraq?  Can he give him some medicine to make him well again, like when Dr. Figgett gives us when we’re sick?”


Daddy:  “Well, he’s going to try.  See, he’s going into his medicine bag and picking out some medicine for Iraq.  However, the lice have infected Iraq badly, and it’s going to take some time before he can get better.”


Daddy turned to the next page and saw that the next chapters were missing.


“Children, we’re going to have to read something else, because I have to go to the library again.  Or, would you like to watch your SpongeBob SquarePants videos?”


Daughter:  “Oh, yes, can we, can we?”


(Will Doc Harmy cure Iraq?  Will the blood-sucking lice be killed?  Have the blood-sucking lice taken too heavy a toll on Iraq’s now-fragile health?  Are the other problems that Iraq had cured?  The next chapters will tell.)