ETRE THE COW is a small book but don't let it fool you, the message is huge. When I first received this book from TLC Book Tours I didn't really know what it was going to be about. Is it simply a story about a cow named Etre? I don't think so. Here's what I do know: Etre is a bull living in the pastures of Gorwell Farm, and the first thing I noticed was his innocence and inquisitive nature.
Etre has lived at this farm for awhile and has watched as other cows and bulls come and go through the seasons, not really giving too much thought to the why's and how's of the farm. The one thing Etre wants more than anything is to be able to communicate with others. His favorite thing is listening to the farmer's son sing and whenever the boy is near, Etre moves closer so he can hear the sweet sounds coming from him. He tries unsuccessfully to get the boy's attention and to sing back but all he can do is hear the words in his own head. No matter how hard he tries, he is simply unable to make either the boy or the other cows hear him. He begins to feel insignificant and even more alone.
Then one day while standing under a large oak tree at the back of the pasture he meets another cow, who he calls My Cow and before long she gives birth to his Bull Calf. Once Bull Calf is born, Etre experiences the joys of fatherhood and loves watching his offspring as he grows. But something else begins to happen to Etre. He wonders what lies beyond the fenced pastures of Gorwell Farm? What is life like on the other side of the barbed wire where the grass is lush and green and dandelions grow? He dreams of a better life and he wishes that life for his Bull Calf.
As they sometimes do, the farmer's men came one day and rounded up the heard and sent Etre and some of the other cows through a chute into a building that Etre has never been in before, though he has often dreamed about the new life that must be on the other side of those chutes. But Etre is not supposed to be in this group of cows and it's almost too late by the time the men realize their mistake. But the damage is done and Etre is horrified by what he has seen. Soon he is back in the pasture where he belongs but life will never be the same and he now knows what he must do.
My Thoughts -
I guess you could say that I was surprised by where this story takes the reader. I believe the message behind this story is about life's bigger picture. It's not just about a lovable, curious cow and his family. It's about the sometimes harsh realizations we all face eventually. We all start out innocent and curious, like Etre, and as we move through life, certain things become clear and we see that things aren't always what they seem and life is not always better on the other side of the fence.
I must be honest - having grown up in the mid west on a mini-farm where my family raised a few horses, cows and chickens, I wasn't blinded by the realities of farm life. But I have to say I was a bit taken aback by the path this story takes. I appreciate the point the author is making with this boldness, however, I have to admit that I had to skip over certain parts. Maybe because as a child, I loved the cows and chickens we raised and it was difficult for me to accept that one day they were...just gone. In my youth, I simply tried to not think about it too much. When I was a little older I was taken to a slaughter house and that was a very difficult experience for me to handle. Suffice it to say, it left deep impressions on me and still effects me today in the food I eat and obviously how I reacted to this book. that said, I can appreciate the message of this book and I think it is important for some to read, but this book may not be for everyone. If you do choose to read this book, be prepared, it will be one that you won't soon forget.
The Giveaway -
The publisher has generously allowing me to give away two copies of this amazing little book. The rules are simple: just leave me a comment and your email address before midnight Saturday, April 3rd. I will announce the winners on Sunday, April 4th. The giveaway is open to US and Canada residents.
The Tour -
Be sure to check out these other tour dates for ETRE THE COW, I'm sure it will be an interesting tour. Also, you can follow author Dr. Sean Kenniff on Twitter by clicking here.
Lastly, I'd like to thank TLC Book Tours for asking me to participate in this blog tour. And I'd also like to thank Dr. Sean Kenniff for the opportunity to read and review his book. I'm sure this book starring a lovable, curious cow will leave a lasting impression on anyone who reads it.
Author: Dr. Sean Kenniff
Published: April 1, 2010