Bartholomew Bull

By Bob Zeidman

This is the story of Bartholomew Bull. Like every cow and bull in the pasture, Bartholomew was content to chew the grass and stare at the passengers in passing cars. But while the others simply looked at the cars and their passengers, Bartholomew paid attention. Heard things on the car radios. Caught pieces of conversations. Watched how people dressed and acted and worked. Yes, definitely how they worked.

After a while, and a particularly inspiring radio broadcast from a car that stopped for a short time to watch the cows and bulls, Bartholomew decided that all of them, bulls and cows, were lazy. Unproductive. Useless to society. He started preaching to them. We need jobs. We need to support ourselves. We need to work. He went off trying to find things to do in the pasture, but there just aren't many things to do in a pasture. Except chew grass. Which is what all of the other cows and bulls were already doing. They just ignored Bartholomew, though some would occasionally grunt in annoyance or giggle in amusement.

Bartholomew grew sad. His fellow bulls and cows just didn't understand. As he leaned against a tree, watching the passing cars, he made a decision. He would join the human race.

Bartholomew goes off to the city. Along the way he finds a shirt, shoes, pants, a tie. He dresses like a human and soon lands a job at a large corporate conglomerate. At first he is happy. He is making money. He is working. He is useful to society. He finds an apartment and a human girlfriend and everything seems good. But as he keeps going he sees how work becomes the complete purpose for all those around him. They don't have time for sitting around chewing the cud. They don't have time to relax.

Bartholomew gets promoted. The workload increases. He starts losing sleep and losing weight. His has problems with his "relationship." One day, after a particularly bad day, Bartholomew confesses to one of coworkers he's really a bull. There is a lot of commotion in the office. No one wants to discriminate against a bull, but no one really wants a bull in the office place. It's it's it's just not right. Bartholomew is let go. His landlord kicks him out. Wearily, he walks the long way back to the pasture. His fellow cows and bulls are there, still simply chewing away. They give him a few grunts and giggles, but keep on chewing. Bartholomew joins them.

Bartholomew is neither happy nor sad. He still doesn't want to just chew all day. But as he watches the cars pass by, he's no longer jealous. He simply watches and chews, watches and chews, watches and chews.