Requiem For A Cow

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 0.603% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

If you’ll recall yesterday, while gaming, a cow saved my life. This brave cow followed me into a bandit camp and kicked the bandit leader to death.

This, thought I, was the kind of cow who sought out adventure.

So I made a vow: I would shepherd this cow along with me through the rest of the game. Me and my cow, in the snowy wastelands, fighting evil robots together. The dream team humanity has strived for since time immemorial, fusing the powers of mankind and a cow.

The cow was, it must be said, tricky to ride. He lurched in every direction, refusing to stop, and lowed sadly at every slope. Rocks I could jump up easily scared the cow, and if I went too fast then he’d gallop eagerly past whatever I was aiming at – so I had to trot everywhere, slowly, across the landscape.

Was this the sacrifice I must make for my mooing friend? So be it.

I named him Snowpoke.

Now, I was worried about protecting poor Snowpoke during battles. The upgraded enemies in the DLC pack were kicking my ass, and I was terrified of my cow becoming steak.

That was, as it turned out, the least of my worries.

Because during the second battle, against two epic fire-breathing monsters I ran into, it turns out that Snowpoke had a short memory. While I was dodging and firing arrows and drinking healing potions, Snowpoke… kinda forgot he was my friend. Apparently his friendship spell wears off if you don’t mount him for long enough, kind of like a bad marriage.

So I was fighting for my life when Snowpoke charged me, joining in the mayhem, with me screaming, “SNOWPOKE! NO! REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES?!?” And that battle became twice as hard because I had to not only shoot at monsters but make sure not to kill an enraged Snowpoke.

Fortunately, Snowpoke had a mild form of bovine ADD, and while the two fire-monsters were hell-bent on my death, Snowpoke got bored mid-battle and wandered off to a slope to eat grass. So I re-befriended him again, and we rode together happily.

And while repairing another robot, I noticed that Snowpoke had his own character: one of his horns had been knocked off. It was an oddly jaunty look, which I loved, so I took a picture.

That poorly-snapped picture, my friends, turned out to be the only memory of Snowpoke I’ll ever have.

Because I wasn’t thinking. I should have Googled, I know. But it was muscle memory – I’d fast-travelled so many times before, skipping across the tedious landscape to just get to my next quest marker, and the horrid truth became apparent:

Cows don’t fast-travel.

I hunted through the camp, realizing with horror that I had left Snowpoke behind, then reloaded every last save I could find in an attempt to find Snowpoke – but Horizon Zero Dawn, alas, didn’t think Snowpoke was worthy enough to save.

Snowpoke was lost in the icy wildernesses, with one horn hanging off, probably to be murdered by asshole adventurers like me.

But no. Snowpoke was more than just materials to be scavenged. Snowpoke was a pet, with a personality – a fuzzy-memoried, ornery personality, to be sure, but he was my pet and I loved him.

Now he’s gone. And my memories are all I have left.

Oh, I’d like to think that he just wandered off, and found a herd, and settled back into his everyday life. But that’s just not Snowpoke. Snowpoke had kicked a bandit to death, man. Snowpoke was a *warrior*. And I know that Snowpoke is now stalking the mountainsides, sneaking up on bandits, who are all like “All right, we’re gonna ambush these villagers – what was that noise?”

Then an angry, angry “moo.”

Then bloodshed.

Then silence. The silence of a bovine ninja.

Rest in peace, Snowpoke. You earned it.

Rest In Peace, Snowpoke. This was a shitty picture, but... I thought we'd have more time together.

Rest In Peace, Snowpoke. This was a shitty picture, but… I thought we’d have more time together.

7 Comments

  1. JFargo
    Apr 10, 2018

    This post made me go through a whole bunch of emotions and I don’t think that’s fair.

    Now I’m not even sad that you lost a robotic pet. No. I’m genuinely sad that you lost a digital representation of a robotic pet.

    As the kids say: I can’t even.

  2. Anonymous Alex
    Apr 10, 2018

    Not that you were really wondering whether your video game playing would become too performative, but just as a confirmation.

    My condolences on your loss.

    -Alex

    • TheFerrett
      Apr 10, 2018

      Actually, this is part of my new blogging approach to writing silly stuff as opposed to deep stuff. I don’t think people will much care number-wise, but it makes me happy. I used to do that more in LJ days, when I blogged a lot, and now I’m sort of switching it up again.

      • Anonymous Alex
        Apr 10, 2018

        I’m not complaining about the silly stuff; it’s amusing. But not mutually exclusive to deep stuff.

        -Alex

  3. Yet Another Laura H.
    Apr 11, 2018

    So, Snowpoke was a cow AND a he? Is that trans erasure, female erasure, or bollocks erasure?

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