A Field in Tilley, Alberta

Guest post by Friar’s Mom

I stood motionless in the northeast corner of a field in Tilley, Alberta.  My friends were but small dark dots in the distant southwest corner of this huge acreage.  The early morning April sun felt warm on my dark brown winter coat.  A few small fluffy clouds dotted the blue sky at the horizon.  Tiny blades of green grass peeked through the dry winter stubble beneath me.  Spring had finally arrived in the Prairies.

For a long time I watched the vehicles whiz by me and loom towards me on the Trans Canada.  I saw 18 wheelers, auto transporters, tankers, empty flatbeds, farm equipment, tow trucks, pickups, police cars, vans, cars.  I noticed a blue Honda CRV.  The woman inside turned her head to look at me as she drove by. She continued to stare at me through her rear view mirror.

She was happy that I had taken time to enjoy my day, yet she was also sad for me.  She knew something of my future that I didn’t know.  Earlier in the day she passed an empty cattle transporter truck.  Tufts of hay protruded through the vent holes.  Those vent holes told another story–horizontal streaks of dried cattle dung clung to the outside of the transporter.  She knew one day, I would take a ride in a similar vehicle.  Yet she wouldn’t tell me where I would travel.  She told me to enjoy the present.

My life had been–chew, chew, chew, poo, poo, poo.  I was tired of the monotony, and finally dared to try something different.  The woman was happy that I had found a new interest.  She was proud of me because I had the courage to be different.  She suggested that I share my new-found joy with some of my friends.

This evening I’ll ask a friend to join me in the northwest corner of the field.  We’ll stand motionless and watch the moving vehicles become silhouette specks against the setting sun.  Perhaps tomorrow some more of my friends will join me.

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20 Comments on “A Field in Tilley, Alberta”

  1. Brett Legree Says:


    Chewin’ and pooin’, boss.


    (this was really good, I liked it – and makes me wonder – are we destined to be Soylent Green?)

  2. Friar's Mom Says:


    Glad you enjoyed it.

    Boy, am I ever out of the picture. I had to look up Soylent Green.

    But that’s OK, I make a consious effort of learning something new each day.

    Friar’s Mom

  3. Steph Says:

    Oh wow. This made me want to cry. I’m so glad I’m vegetarian.

    This was really beautiful, Friar’s Mom. I love the setting and imagery you created.

  4. Brett Legree Says:

    @Friar’s Mom,

    It’s not a bad movie – I’m too young to have seen it in theatre, but my mother told me about it once and I had to see it.

  5. Friar Says:


    Wasn’t that Edward G. Robinson’s last movie?

  6. Brett Legree Says:


    That’s right. He passed away from cancer 12 days after they were finished shooting. Incredible, he worked through it even though he was ill.

  7. Friar Says:


    And then he re-incarnated as Chief Wiggum!

  8. “My life had been–chew, chew, chew, poo, poo, poo.”

    Did the Apple even get OUT of the TREE in this family?

    Well Friar, it’s not to hard to see where you got that Friar sense of humor. I had no idea I was reading a Cow story until that moment.

    Always nice to see a Friar’s Mom post! I love them!

  9. Friar Says:


    Yeah..the first time I read that story, I got thrown for a loop. It’s all about the cow….who’d a thunk it?

  10. Writer Dad Says:

    I’ve never seen Soylent Green, though I’ve been meaning to for like ten years.

    Thanks Friar’s Mom. I love your guest posts!

  11. Kelly Says:

    Friar’s Mom,

    “Earlier in the day she passed an empty cattle transporter truck.” And my stomach lurches. NICELY done. I didn’t see it coming at all!

    Now I know why Friar stands in the northwest corner of the field. Beautiful story. 🙂


    Thanks. It took me twenty years to get over seeing Soylent Green, and now I’m thinking of it again. Ick. That and the scene in Planet of the Apes… Charlton Heston knew how to make the absurd eerily possible.


    Thanks for having your Mom in again. She’s a super guest author.



  12. Friar's Mom Says:


    I can still picture the setting for my cattle story. It took place in April on one of my Happy Compartment days as I drove east across the Prairies. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Canadian Prairies–a ribbon of road, golden stubble of grain fields, a horizon, and a vast expanse of ever-changing blue sky. The early morning began with a handful of sparse cotton balls at the horizon. As the day progressed, more clouds appeared, grew larger, and by late afternoon Cumulus Nimbus clouds loomed high. They attained the anvil stage. To the north, the sky was black in colour. The clouds shed Payne’s gray curtains of rain. I continued to drive through sparse sprinklings of raindrops, and since the sun was now low in the western sky, I drove in and out of rainbows.

    I love it. It was so beautiful, like watching a nature movie from my car on an all-around screen.

  13. Brett Legree Says:


    Would you expect anything less from your friendly neighbourhood zombie slayer? 🙂

    Planet of the Apes – did you ever see one of the sequels (Beneath the Planet of the Apes) where the mutants deified the Divine Bomb?

    “Glory be to the Bomb, and to the Holy Fallout. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.”

    That was seriously messed up. Which reminds me, I haven’t seen Dr. Strangelove for a while either… maybe on my list this weekend.

  14. Friar's Mom Says:


    Glad you enjoyed my story. It’s described as I saw it. If I had been on a country road rather than the Trans Canada I would have stopped the car to take a photo and chat with that solitary bovine. I grew up with friendly horned cows. They were our summer pets. I love their large doleful brown eyes.

    During my travels, I passed numerous cattle transporters–both empy and occupied. This was the first time I saw an empty one with the horizontal streaks of dry dung.

    “Dry dung is worth a thousand words”.

  15. Friar Says:


    I saw Beneath the Planet of the Apes on TV when I was about 8. The mutant’s faces were so gross I could barely stand to watch. Scared the crap out of me, it did!

  16. Brett Legree Says:

    I have it if you want to watch it some time… 🙂

  17. Friar Says:


    Hey, you gotta bring that over one of these beer nights!

  18. Kelly Says:


    Beneath was one I wisely skipped. Creepy/scary movies gie me nightmares far too easily. In fact, how I got roped into seeing Solylent Green is beyond me. Must have been something that passed for love. I can’t recall.

    Friar’s Mom,

    I hear you on the cow eyes. So deep and soulful! Actually, the thing that passed for love and tricked me into watching Solylent Green might have involved cow eyes. Though not on a cow, obviously. 🙂

    Until later,


  19. Brett Legree Says:


    I can bring it along, no problem. Soylent Green too… guess Kelly won’t be joining us then! 🙂

  20. Friar Says:


    Heh heh. All this discussion, just from the cow story (Looks like you and I hijacked the blog again!)

    Sorry, Friar’s Mom! 🙂

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