People see the cow and accuse me of having too much free time. Not so. I was on a mission to help my son Brian, who was selling used cars at the end of our driveway at the time. The cow would be a great gimmick, I thought. We argued about it... he thought it was stupid.

In early 2006 he and his wife went on vacation for a week, and I spent the time building the cow in his absence, so that he coould return and see the completed creation, rather than just my description. I knew it would be a winner.

He hated it. He hated it so bad that he "prohibited" me from having it anywhere on my property where his customers could see it. Fat chance of that happening, but I did lay low for a while. My last chance was a bit of photoshop work, in the picture below...

Cowabunga! what a gimmick I had for him, and he still spurned it. In the meantime everyone else was raving about it. Later that year I took her down to the Dann reunion, where our dairying family loved her.

The cow is assembled. The body is a discarded fuel oil tank, and the head is an old mulk can. Eyelashes are hayrake springs, eyeballs are door knobs, and the back of her head is a cast iron drinking bowl from a stanchion assembly. The legs are cut from the frame of a Ford Ranger, and the udder is a 5 gallon propane tank. Not shown is the tail, which is a length of fat rope with a fray at the end, Also not shown is a pink stove trivet just below the tail.

The farm at the end of or driveway, summer 2012: The cow and her calf, the pigunder an apple tree, and the shovel bird watching from its nest. The calf came directly from the scrap yard; it is a cast aluminum "kiddie ride" and was originally mounted on a heavy spring that would allow it to rock. I think it was supposed to be a deer, but it responded well to black and white paint.

Sweet revenge... Brian's daughter has loved the cow for every one of her three years; she is hugging it here.

The cow's ears are cultivator sweeps, and her earrings are the ID tags that cows used to have around their necks. The hat is because it is springtime

In the background is a long- dead locust tree that has been planted roots- up, so that our shovel bird can make her scraggly nest there. As a youngster, Brian welded up the bird from a shovel, a bicycle fork and seat, and some old bolts.