We never watch the Oscars. Who needs empty entertainment when the real thing is waiting right outdoors? Performances in each category are executed to perfection for our personal enjoyment, every day of the year.
The official extravaganza stretched from Hollywood to the White House and blared from televisions everywhere between. However, soon after it ended the punk rock band Canis Latrans (aka Coyote Only Somewhat Ugly) sang and danced right on the back lawn. Performing the song, "Hungry for Kitty Cats," from the cult hit, "When Will the Whitetails Return So We Can Stop Eating Mice?" they howled and gyrated with award-worthy vigor. In competition for Best Original Score they easily beat the Tufted Titmouse Band's offering, "I Sound Like a Cardinal, but I'm Not [Learn the Difference'" from the musical, "Wishing it Were Spring."
Best Visual Effects went to "Sunrise Over the Old Horse Pasture." Subtle pinks, grays, blues and shining silvers combined to make us feel like morning was rolling out the red carpet for a spectacular day. Wisps of fragile cloud and chiaroscuro branches inked against the light fell under the heading of showing off, but we still applauded.
Later that morning we were treated to a stellar performance by Miss Pumpkin Kitty, vying for the award for Best Live Action Short Film. She dove head-first into a stack of wooden pallets and in just an instant emerged triumphant, a fat vole dangling from her mouth.
She proceeded to show us some real action, tossing it skyward, catching it skillfully, dropping it at our feet, then reliving the catch all over again. She patty-pawed it hand-to-hand, so to speak, then trotted along beside us all the way to the barn, using it as a fat, Chaplinesque, moustache. (No nomination for Best Makeup, though.) We joked that it probably wasn't DiGiorno, but it did look like delivery, when she tried to bring it right into the milk house to share.
Besides a gold statuette, she won some kitty kibble for desert. Unfortunately, having her mouth full of cat food while she gave her acceptance speech caused some confusion, when, "Thank you very much," came out as "Meow, meow, meow, doughnuts."
Best Sound Editing went to a real puzzler of a show. As on nearly every morning, we were feeding round bales to the cows preparatory to letting them outside to eat. A unique and funky bird called from up behind the tool shed. It was a rhythmic, guttural kind of song, almost ugly, but earthy, and interesting. As we listened we realized that it was from the film, "Probably A Raven", which also garnered several other nominations including Best Foreign Language film.
In a very rare but not unprecedented tie, our two Northview girls shared the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Their nightly performances in "Rolling Out Round Bales" earned them both the award, and their parents' gratitude. My favorite nights are the ones wherein they are in a hurry and have the night feeding rolled out and forked around before I am done milking my string.
Serving supper up for the cows, after hauling bales into the manger, should have qualified them for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
However, that category had already been won by This Winter's Weather. After all, even the very best actress pretends to be someone she is not, often so very well that for a while we believe. Ms. Weather in recent weeks has pretended to be bringing an epic snow storm, when she really was only offering a few spits of sleet and half an hour of drizzle. The lack of snowpack for ski resorts and snowmobilers left not one single dry eye in the house at the conclusion of her performance in "Weather Wanna Be, or, How I Went Out to Sea."
The cows themselves were a close runner-up for Best Actress, as it happens. They starred in and indeed completed the entire cast of the popular comic satire, "Histrionics Are Us." It was impossible not to laugh at them when, after coming into the barn to gobble grain (after devouring three giant round bales of good hay), they swung their heads and mooed and scrambled to steal feed from the calves that stay inside. There is no way they were that hungry, but they could have fooled the most seasoned of judges.
Best Actor was awarded to Sir Night Sky, although only after serious consideration was given to Old Nick the Dog, for his role in the independent film, "I Pretend to Be Decrepit and Ill, but Still Run Away Every Chance I Get." Sir Sky starred in the much-nominated film noir, "After the Lights Go Out" and wowed audiences across the entire world, as well as here at our little dairy farm. From meteors to asteroids to spectacular stars to pink glory, horizon to horizon, on cloudy nights, Lord Sky outperformed virtually all contestants, even eclipsing Sunny Sun.
I was humbled to almost receive a nomination for Best Director. However, that was short-lived, when it was discovered that I am really Only Bossy. The actual award went to Gil the Other Dog, for "Barking at Everything." His stunning interpretation and direction of cats, cows, the Canis Latrans Band, the moon, the stars, air, people sneezing, ghosts-only-he-can-see, and a host of other actors, was beyond compare. Sadly he ate his little golden statue, along with several strands of hay, some locust seeds, and part of the blanket on my chair, so his mantel is going to be kind of bare, should he ever get one.
Of course Best Picture went to the epic "Life on a Dairy Farm." We are guaranteed by the nature of the movie in which we star to never have to worry about being wealthy, or at least not in the way everyone one involved in the real Academy Awards seems to be. However, we are crazy rich in interesting companionship, glorious nature and wonderful animals.
Thank you very much.
Fultonville dairy farmer MARIANNE FRIERS
is a regular columnist. She blogs