Homecoming

A comic parody of apocalyptic sci fi

The day began as had thousands before, either a bright sun in a blue sky or grey clouds and rain. But still, it began. And after this day it would never be the same. The farmer plodded to his fields, the housewife swept her porch, little children played and squealed in the yards, and the young scholars trudged off to school, book-bags slung over their shoulders. In short, the day began as days had thousands of times before and since The Great Calamity, the natural cataclysm which devastated the entire planet.

Suddenly, a rosy-cheeked youngster on a tree-swing, pumping her legs as if stretching for the sky, lost her smile, and dragging her feet on the ground to stop her flight, leapt from her perch and dashed across the yard to the safety of her mother’s skirts, screaming in panic, “They’re back! They’re back! I saw them at the edge of the woods.” She moaned in fear.

“Hush, baby.” Her mother dropped her broom and hugged the child protectively. “What’s back?”

Too terrified to speak, the child merely pointed a finger without removing her head from the folds of her mother’s skirt, toward the woods across the meadow. She felt her mother tense, and heard her say in a strangled whisper, “Come in the house – now.” She ushered the little girl through the door, slammed it shut, threw the deadbolt, and struggled to catch her breath. For she too had seen, poised on the edge of the forest, a creature of legend, a beast from the past, an animal shrouded in mystery, and glimpsed only on the rarest of occasions. There stood – a cow.

No one knew why “The Great Calamity” had occurred. Perhaps it was a mutant gene, perhaps some alien virus. The only thing certain was that one day cows behaved as they always had and the next day they were unapproachable and ferociously feral. The calamity affected all bovines everywhere on Earth, from the American bison to the Siberian yak and all types in between. Soon, around the world, economies and whole societies collapsed in its wake.

There was no longer any ice cream, milk, baby formula, yogurt, cheese – no dairy products of any type. The mutation, if that’s what it was, also affected the meat, making it toxic to humans. No hamburgers, steaks, or any other beef products. Human society wobbled and then collapsed in a heap – a huge heap of cow manure.

The prey became the predator. Heaven help the hiker harried and hunted by a hateful herd of hungry Hereford heifers.

But now today, as frightened families peered disbelievingly through the slats of their window blinds, herds of cows materialized on the fringes of forests and fields, villages and cities throughout the world, and swinging their pendulous udders, chewing their mysterious cud, and sashaying placidly down lanes and streets, they returned to the company of humankind once more.

In the suburb of a Mid-western city, one man, overwhelmed with emotion, fell to his knees on a sidewalk as a solid mass of Holsteins, Golden Guernseys, Black Angus, Jerseys, led by a water buffalo, shuffled their regal way past his house. His tears flowed freely as he muttered over and over, “We waited ’til the cows came home.”

THE END

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