Cows and Cowboys In Art and Storytelling

Cows appear in fairytale as a vital source of dairy products. “Jack and the Beanstalk” is a well-known English example. “The Three Cows” is a famous Celtic example. In Celtic cultures, the feast of Samhain is held when the mortal world and the fairy realm are at their closest.


If you’d like to hear a famous ancient tale read aloud, I recommend the retellings by Parcast’s Tales podcast series. (They have now moved over to Spotify.) These are ancient tales retold using contemporary English, complete with music and Foley effects. Some of these old tales are pretty hard to read, but the Tales podcast presents them in an easily digestible way. “The Three Cows” was published April 2020.

The Curious Cow 1960 by Esther K. Meeks illustrated by Mel Pekarsky

For ‘Lucky Pete’ in The Wide World Magazine May 1920 illustration by Warwick Reynolds cowboy gun


Midwest Cowboy, a film by Brian Kaiser: “The ways cowboys have been depicted in popular culture, and who has been excluded from those depictions is directly linked to the inaccurate stories America tells itself about race, gender, exceptionalism, expansion, and destiny. A growing body of literature and images have sought to expand and challenge these incomplete depictions, to correct the record and broaden the definition. This body of work looks to do the same.”


On paper, things look fine. Sam Dennon recently inherited significant wealth from his uncle. As a respected architect, Sam spends his days thinking about the family needs and rich lives of his clients. But privately? Even his enduring love of amateur astronomy is on the wane. Sam has built a sustainable-architecture display home for himself but hasn’t yet moved into it, preferring to sleep in his cocoon of a campervan. Although they never announced it publicly, Sam’s wife and business partner ended their marriage years ago due to lack of intimacy, leaving Sam with the sense he is irreparably broken.

Now his beloved uncle has died. An intensifying fear manifests as health anxiety, with night terrors from a half-remembered early childhood event. To assuage the loneliness, Sam embarks on a Personal Happiness Project:

1. Get a pet dog

2. Find a friend. Just one. Not too intense.




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