Many times I'm sure you've heard,
The old expression, "Holy Cow."
I never thought about it much,
That is - up until just now.
It is used to show emotion,
To express exasperation,
Or display profound amazement,
Or extreme exaggeration.
Its roots, I think, could be Midwest,
Perhaps basic Minnesota,
Wisconsin or Nebraska,
Or maybe South Dakota.
But, I think it goes way back in time,
Like to ancient Bible days.
When priests were in the temples,
And sacrifice was all the rage.
In atonement for men's evil ways,
They used to slay a fatted calf,
And offer it to God in praise,
And in His honor and behalf.
The calf was laid upon the altar,
And priestly heads would bow,
One voice might shout out, "Praise be!"
And another, "Holy Cow!"
This, of course is plain conjecture,
No one's told me this is so,
And it doesn't really matter,
That I don't really know.
What's at the base of my bewilderment,
Is a scene from the other night,
When my cat came in the room,
And proudly strolled into my sight.
Smilingly, I sat me down,
And patted my plump knee,
My body language told her,
To come up and sit with me.
She looked at me; then looked askance,
And strutted right on by,
I ignored her cold response,
Though I kept her in my eye.
I hardly believed what next I saw,
It almost threw me into shock,
She jumped upon my table,
And across its surface walked.
She headed for my Bible,
And on its cover, down she sat,
Well, "Holy Cow!" I thought,
But my voice cried, "Holy Cat!"
So now, within our household,
When vocal passions reign,
"Holy Cow" is not the phrase of choice,
"Holy Cat" is now exclaimed!
A cat sitting on a Bible,
Perhaps appears absurd,
But most folks aren't as close to God,
As she is to His Word.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
copyright 2000

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