I have a brand on my front leg

viaangusI have a brand on my front leg. It is a shape that looks like the shape on the close barn where I sleep. There is a far barn too, but I have not been there so I do not know if it has a shape on the side. I have a tag in my ear, but it looks like mud. The man said my tag means he knows where I go. He said my brand means this field is my home. My brand and tag make me feel safe and loved.

I want to look at the tag on the ear of my friend Roy, but I do not see Roy. If his tag is like my tag then when I look at his tag it will be like my tag with no mud. We have a fence by each side of the field. Here and there the fence is weak, but I do not think Roy went through a weak part of the fence. I do not think he is lost. I hope he is not lost. I think he is on the far side of the field near the far barn.

I will look for him there so I can see if his tag is like his brand.

Last 5 posts by Via Angus


  1. Allen says

    No Mr. Angus, the tag on your ear is to keep you safe from annoying flies. If the flies annoy you too much you would walk too much, and that would spoil your attributes.

  2. Ollie says

    I'm assuming this is a metaphor for our lives and how we are treated by the government…. but I think it falls short in the farmer explaining what the brand means. Like the government would explain anything to us.

  3. StephenH says

    @Ollie: The government explains things to us all the time. Like how the secret courts keep us safe from terrorists, and how the warrantless wiretapping and GPS monitoring programs have exposed hundreds of terrorist plots that they can't tell us about.

    Likewise, the TSA and the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams aren't brownshirts of the New World Order, acclimating our country to a culture of totalitarianism. They're making sure our citizens are kept safe on every airport, rail and subway station, and public gathering.

    Honestly, it's like you grew up on another farm, with other animals, with a different set of commandments. Myself, I'm quite certain our commandments have never changed since the death of Old Major. Napoleon would never betray our founding principles, or support any animal who did.

    I might be misremembering the story a little. Wasn't it supposed to be an allegory to Communist Russia?

  4. Joe Blow says

    Mr. Angus, I enjoy your writings. Please keep them up. I particularly enjoy reading your musings over lunch, typically a nice juicy cheeseburger from Five Guys. Their french fries are made fresh daily, produced on the spot from potatoes hauled in that morning from a farm not unlike your home. I also sometimes get the French Dip from a local deli, or maybe the pastrami. Any of these sandwiches is actually a good accompaniement to your stylisting fancies.

    Again, thanks for your commentary.

  5. George William Herbert says

    This is just not working as a metaphor for me.

    My grandparents had a cattle ranch (mostly feed pasture for other people's cattle, but they had a few of their own) for a while. I got to meet cattle up close.

    Cattle are much stupider than you imagine.

    Any people/cattle metaphor fails close inspection, because even stupid crowds of people are smarter.

  6. Hoare says


    the sex might not happen with roy
    his voice might be "higher" the next time you meet

  7. says

    @George William Herbert
    You say most cows and bulls are dumb. But I am rare and I do my work well. I am not dumb. I think Roy is not dumb since he found a weak part in the fence. He also found cube lumps and once he found bread.

  8. lagaya says

    Not sure how a vegan figures into the metaphor, but I love you, Angus! In all your sweet innocence.

  9. Pete says

    @George William Herbert

    "Cattle are much stupider than you imagine."

    Not so. My family owned cattle who knew their names and would come when called. They have accurate internal clocks and will let you know about it if you miss their regular feeding times. If you spend much time around them, you'll observe that cows form life long friendships with certain other cows (or even dogs) and hang out together. Similarly, sometimes bad blood develops between certain cows. Their is a definate social heirachy within herds, and each cow understands his/her place.

    So, cows are quite a bit like voters.

  10. Ancel De Lambert says

    Roy? Roooooy?
    Possibly the most heartbreaking image I've come across in a while.

  11. George William Herbert says

    Pete –

    I am not suggesting they're insentiate. They are emotional, and recognize each other, etc.

    But in the greater scheme of things?

    Pigs, horses, buffalo / bison / wild Aurochs in general, (at least larger birds), cats, dogs, etc. all show much more intelligence.

    It's glaring enough to me that it ruins the metaphors.

  12. Jay says

    @ George W.H. Intelligence is a bit subjective. We look at cows and say "they must be stupid, they only spend there time foraging/eating, sleeping, drinking, humping, etc… Cows may look at us and think we're stupid because we only spend our time playing with machines and feeding them. It's a perspective issue, and I can assure you that people who believe themselves to be our "overlords" think about the masses of people they watch over the same way a farmer thinks about his herd. He may care for them in the sense that he wants to protect them from harm because a perceived threat to them is a perceived threat to his pocket book. He does not make rules with the cows best intentions and freedom in mind though, in fact quite the opposite. He makes rules based on how he can control them with the least amount of effort and cost to him. This is how the metaphor is meant to work, and I believe it to be a good one. The huddled masses are also very comparable to sheep, which if you know anything about domesticated livestock, are a lot more simplistic than cattle.

  13. Xenocles says

    I like you, Angus. You sound like a Prime sort of guy. Make sure you eat plenty of grass, okay?

  14. says

    "@ George William Herbert
    Here is the scheme of things."

    Here is the scheme of things: your grammar isn't bad for a cow, but you're sloppy with punctuation and the '@' sign.

  15. Will says

    Via, you should definitely hire a marketing firm to promote your brand.

    You could get started by sending out mass e-mails to potential candidates. Be sure to address all of your messages to *[FNAME]*. Marketeers always enjoy that sort of impersonal touch.

  16. Doug says

    I wish I had something juicy to say about Angus and his friend, Roy. I will think aout it has I heat up my weber 3 burner grill.

  17. AlphaCentauri says

    Intelligence is the ability to adapt to survive. You don't see herds of feral cattle; when their fences fail and they wander off, they have to be rescued.

  18. Mark - Lord of the Albino Squirrels says

    Via Angus might be one of the most eloquent and calm bloggers on bovine issues I've ever read. It's a refreshingly civilized style.

    Usually, you find Herefords calling for a crackdown on cud users – for the sake of the calves! Or it might be Angus fighting about the whole red vs. black thing. Finally, you get Longhorns and the other ferals screaming about horn length and throwing off the Man. The founding Aurochs would not recognize the lowing crowd of our times, sadly.

    And don't get me started on the current obsession with…. polling.

  19. says

    Via Angus is wise, but for whatever reason that name gets me to thinking about "Colonel Angus", and I'm ashamed. Speak it out loud in your best southern drawl a few times and you'll hear what I mean.

  20. Jay says

    @ AlphaCentauri, the same could be said for domesticated "government controlled" humans. You don't see many of them making it out of the woods alive either. Just sayin'…

  21. Jay says

    In fact, I know from first hand experience that cows can live days, even weeks, outside of a fence with no human interference whatsoever and still live to tell the tale. The same cannot be said for most humans. In fact I would be surprised if you yourself have the supposed requirements for "intelligence". Food for thought…

  22. nlp says

    Dear Angus, I am informed by my brother, who can see a Black Angus farm from his rear window, that they refuse to enter the barn even in the most horrible weather. If you are sleeping in the barn, then there is something terribly wrong at your farm. Please inform me if you think the ACLU (Angus Cattle Lovers United) will be of any help.

  23. Kathy says

    I know this is story is an allegory and that I should look for the hidden meaning. However, I just can not get beyond the vision I now have stuck in my head of a black bull with a tag in his ear looking for his buddy Roy. Seriously, no more beef for me.

  24. says

    @ nlp
    I sleep in the barn since the dark voice is there. I like the dark voice. She tells me things. I know a lot of things. The dark voice said I am a bull of bulls. The dark voice likes to talk to me. I am dark too.

  25. says

    @ Kathy and @ Ancel De Lambert
    I have not found Roy. I will look and look. And I will ask the dark voice if she knows where Roy is.

  26. AlphaCentauri says

    @jay, I wouldn't like it if I didn't have my nice zip-up tent to keep the mosquitoes out, but I could do it. But I've always wondered that humans look down on turkeys that need to be taught how to mate, yet we argue over teaching sex education as if no human ever figured it out without being instructed.

  27. Mark - Lord of the Albino Squirrels says

    "Bull of bulls"…. cow… she… dark voice when you sleep….

    I think I've heard this story before – especially if it involves avoiding doom through the power of beer. If not, I'll just enjoy the strange coincidence.

  28. Kathy says

    This is no longer an allegory is it? It is real…I know it. I have given up beef because of the Black Bull With Tag in Ear(BBWTIE). The vision is so real to me. But now, I may have to give up listening to voices as well ….or maybe only to dark voices? The problem is I am not sure if I can tell the difference between a dark or "light" voice though. I will have to google it. BBWTIE since you know a lot of things maybe you could clarify. However, you say you are dark too? Do you have both light and dark voices, or only one?

  29. SKT says

    Angus, the tag simply means you're on a highway to hell. Like the rest if us.