08-28-2011, 10:23 PM
Criss and Father Stefan dashed to the front of the church where they saw the largest of the cows lying on its side, mooing in agony. People stood around the animal helplessly, wondering what was wrong with it. The police waved away the gawkers, warning them not to get too close. "But you gotta do something!" they pleaded with the officers. "That poor thing is in agony!"
"We've contacted Animal Control," the police assured the worried crowd, "and they said to just let Nature take its course."
"But what's wrong with him?" a concerned youngster wanted to know.
"First of all, it's a her, not a him," an officer corrected the kid, "and she's gonna have a baby, that's all."
Upon hearing this news, some parents immediatly took their leave, taking their children away for fear of their seeing something "inappropriate" or "traumatic". The less squeamish positioned themselves around the cow's rear, cameras and camcorders ready to record the blessed event when it happened. A few wags called out "Boil water! Tear sheets!" to the amusement of no one. The news crews remained on standby, gathering POVs from the bystanders in the meantime.
Criss turned to Father Stefan. "You know any prayers for a pregnant cow, Father?" he asked.
"I'll think of something," Father replied.
A roving reporter immediatly spotted Criss and rushed over to him, microphone in hand. "We're here live at Holy Trinity Church," she spoke eagerly into the microphone, facing the camera, "and with us is famous illusionist Criss Angel. Criss, any statement about the runaway cow situation?"
Criss merely shrugged. "What do you mean, 'statement'?" he retorted. "Buncha cows get loose, bull tears up the city, and now we gotta calf on the way! What happened, happened, that's all. I got no opinion on it. I'll just be happy when they're all rounded up and back where they came from."
"You led these cows here to the church grounds," the reporter pressed. "Was it your idea, or--?"
"Originally, it was my idea," Criss confirmed, "but the police were the ones who carried it out. I just led the way to the church."
"But why here?"
"Well, it's got grass, and a high fence--perfect place for a cow. I mean, we had to get them out of the street, right?"
The reporter turned to Father Stefan. "And you're the priest here, I assume?" she asked.
"Yes, I'm Father Stefan Mykolos," he introduced himself.
"And what's your take on all these cows on your property?"
Father Stefan rubbed the back of his neck thoughtfully. "Well, I wish Christopher here had consulted with me first before he brought this herd on me," he replied, still a little miffed. "But he meant well, and once the cows are back where they belong, everything will be all right." He thumbed toward Criss. "He's paying for the lawn, though," he added with a smile.
Criss nodded sheepishly, smiling in embarrassment. Meanwhile, out in the makeshift pasture, the mother-cow-to-be lowed as she fought to expel the newborn calf from her womb. The bystanders cheered her on, delivering a blow-by-blow description of the birth:
"I see it! I see it! There's the feet, see?"
"Oh, God, I hope it's not a breech birth!"
"It's a calf, not a human baby! It's got four legs, not two!"
"Come on, cow! You can do it!"
"Breathe! Breathe! Breathe!"
"I see the head! I see the head!"
"It's coming! It's coming! Oh, this is sooo cool!"
With one mighty effort the newborn calf slid out of its mother, still shrink-wrapped in the placenta. The bystanders cheered, took pictures and high-fived each other. The police officers merely smiled. "Well, that made my day," one sergeant commented. He patted his pockets. "I'm afraid I don't have any cigars, though," he laughed.
Dazed, the calf struggled onto its tiny hooves, its spindly legs wobbling unsteadily underneath its weight. Though weak and exhausted from the ordeal of birthing, the mother cow also rose to its feet, its udder swollen with milk for the newborn. It licked the calf from stem to stern, washing away the placenta with its giant tongue. The calf took a few unsteady steps toward its mother's udder and immediatly began nursing. Meanwhile, a group of giddy teenage girls got together to discuss a very important issue. "What are we gonna name it?" they asked themselves. "We gotta give it a name."
"How about 'Daisy'? That's a good cow name."
"That is soooo lame! We gotta name her something cool."
"You know, Criss Angel is here."
"Yeah, right over there. He's the one who brought them here, remember?"
"Hey! Maybe we could call it 'Crissy' or something after him?"
"How about 'Angel' instead?"
Elated with their choice of name, they sprinted to where Criss and Father Stefan were standing. "Hey, Criss!" they called out.
Criss turned to the girls. "Oh, hi," he said, "what's up?"
"Guess what!" they blurted excitedly. "We decided to name the baby calf 'Angel' after you!"
Criss didn't know exactly how to react to this singular honor. "Uh, well, gee," he hedged, "uh, that's really nice of you, I guess."
One of the girls held up her digital camera. "Come on!" she pleaded. "We'll take your picture with 'Angel'!"
"Uh, I'm afraid I gotta get back to the Luxor," Criss explained hastily. "Thanks anyway."
The disappointed girls turned and walked away. Criss shook his head in disbelief. "As if my day wasn't wierd enough," he said to Father Stefan, "suddenly, I'm godfather to a cow!"
Father Stefan could only laugh. "You've had a busy day," he said jovially. "Go home and get some rest--oh, and send my regards to your mother. I'll send you the bill for the lawn later."
Criss was only too happy to go home and get some rest. He bade Father Stefan good-bye, hopped on his Harley and took off. Of all the crazy days in his life, he reflected, this took the prize. Cows running in the streets, a bull trashing his Hummer and half the Luxor--what a day, geez!
Animal Control officers led the docile bovines into their trailers, one at a time. Angel the calf accompanied its mother into the largest of them, completely innocent of whatever fate awaited them at DairyMaid in Brightonville, Utah. The police, meanwhile, cleared the area of all news crews and other civilians. "Show's over, folks," they barked, "nothing more to see. Clear the area, please."
The cow trailers threaded their way down B--Street with their living cargo. The media packed up their gear into their vans and headed back to their respective stations. Ordinary people with personal video or digital footage headed home to forward their experiences to friends and relatives, or to download them onto their favorite websites. Finally, even the police left the scene, leaving Father Stefan to survey the damage done to the church grounds: patches of grass had been ripped out, mounds of manure dotted the landscape, and a slimy mess puddled the spot where Angel the calf had been born. Well, at least Christopher's paying for it, not me, he said to himself.