When I was a child, I knew a secret. Something I assumed nobody else was smart enough to figure out. You see, there was a cow in the supermarket. Grocery shopping is an unfortunate chore for any youngster, and I was no different. Walking around in seemingly pointless directions, having my suggestions (mostly of sweets or candy) constantly denied, and I wasn’t even able to take the cart for the occasional joyride up and down the aisles! All in all, a dead boring waste of time (at this point in my life, I didn’t care to make the connection between the food in the store and the food in my stomach).
But one day, I discovered an abnormality that refused to be ignored. As my father rolled the cart to a gentle stop in the milk aisle, he turned the other way to choose between two different brands of cheddar cheese. I settled down for a wait, (as my father, the ultimate frugal shopper, took hours to compare prices and quality) rocking in place and looking around absent-mindedly. That was when I heard it. A sudden and unexpected noise had ripped through the silence of the moment like my kiddie-scissors through wrapping paper, leaving an intoxicating stillness in its wake.
Entranced, I moved closer to the wall of milk, concentrating on my latest discovery. “Moo.” This simple onomatopoeia left an incredible conundrum for my self-proclaimed dizzying intellect. I thought for a moment, coming up with an extremely scientific conclusion. It was elementary, that of course, there was a cow behind the milk aisle. I had been in the waiting room of the doctor’s office long enough to know that ‘the cow goes moo.’ As no other being I knew of made that particular noise, it was simple to put 2 and 2 together and say that there was a cow in our midst. Immediately after coming to this conclusion, I was overwhelmed with pity. That poor cow, alone with no cow-friends to play with. What an unfortunate situation. Suddenly filled with a sense of comradery (for I was devastatingly bored as well), I ‘moo’ed back, to let the cow know that it was not alone.
This is what I miss most about being a child, what I wish I could have back now that I have changed. Those simple senses of imagination and childish naivety, they make the world a more interesting place to live in. Nowadays, whenever I walk into Foodtown, and hear that tinny old speaker moo at me, I smile. For I have a new secret. Every now and then, I still moo back at the milk. You never know, perhaps my child self was smarter than she appeared.