The Invasion of the Cows

Karim Zaimović

Illustration by Monika Grubizna


Midway through last year, reports began pouring in from the foreign press of an unprecedented rampage of cows in the countries of Western Europe. This bizarre behavior was first observed when a substantial number of dairy cows, which had, until then, been producing delicious milk, began giving milk with an odd, sour tinge that no technological processing could improve, and subsequent chemical analysis in European laboratories offered no results, only raising new questions. Some completely new chemical compounds were discovered in the milk that cannot, in fact, be obtained by the natural processing of a cow's udder. And just when the cattle breeders, dairy farmers, and news reporters were preparing to dismiss the story as a passing oddity, attributed possibly to tainted feed, there were new surprises. The same cows that had produced the sour milk—by certain estimates their number was roughly ten percent of the total bovine herd of Europe—stopped giving any milk at all. At the same time, they began showing malice and hostility toward their breeders and the livestock with which they shared pens and farms. This led to many injuries among farmers during sly bovine attacks, most of which occurred in England. Moreover on some English farms there were cases of massive cow decampment, forcing the villagers and local population to go out in search of the stray cattle, which they would then surround and, as needed, round up, or butcher on the spot. Meanwhile, however, before they were able to locate a number of these pernicious beasts, the weirdly frenzied animals perpetrated unheard-of bovine bestiality, venting their fury and newfound strength on the mild-mannered creatures of the woodlands, such as the rabbits and the squirrels.

That the whole thing had assumed dramatic proportions can be seen by an incident that the foreign press reported and dispatched worldwide. In mid-October of last year, in Sherwood Forest, where the searchers were on the trail of a large renegade pack of aggressive cows, a disturbing scene was discovered on a wooded slope. In a small clearing, where—guided by bizarre logic—the cows had improvised a small forest shrine, there were about twenty rabbits and fifteen brown squirrels whose bodies were strewn about. After analysis it was established that the rabbits had been sexually molested, after which, in a weird, primitive ritual, they were laid on the altar of a hornéd divinity whose clumsily fashioned effigy is now in the custody of the Nottingham police, where British experts are studying it closely, intent on divining the nature of the sudden outburst of bovine hostility.


We bring you several eyewitness accounts of the events described above.

John Greenwood, a prominent breeder from the English county of Sussex, was astonished by these developments: "I cannot fathom why this is happening," he told the Daily Telegraph. "I always tended to my cows and cared for them as much as I did for my own family. Especially Sarah, my finest dairy cow, who went from being a wonderful, affectionate creature to a real monster, which—after goring two of my staff members—prodded another dozen of my purebreds to revolt. You already know about the atrocities they have since committed," said breeder Greenwood.

Edward Alman, a senior inspector for Scotland Yard who was entrusted with the investigation of this strange case, admitted to a reporter from the London Sun, that the police were still at a loss. "I cannot begin to guess what is going on," Alman said. "Never in my career have I seen anything remotely like this. The rogue cattle seem to be organizing themselves into terrorist units with clearly defined objectives and apparently they are following a pre-set plan. What plan this is and who is guiding these cows, we can only surmise," said Inspector Alman at the close of his report for the press.

Experts who autopsied the captured and butchered cattle reject the notion that this is due to an illness or epidemic outbreak of mad cow disease, the horrors of which are still remembered vividly by British livestock breeders from the outbreak in 1785. Experts have also confirmed that no traces were found of drugs that might have been injected into the blood of the poor cattle or slipped into their feed by a well-organized group of agitators defying protection of the environment. Fortunately, as these doubts were being bandied about in public, the surge of aggressive bovine behavior began to abate. Most of the feral cattle were rounded up and liquidated, while those that had stayed loyal to their farmers and breeders showed no further signs of odd behavior or any lingering interest in the little packs for which the police of the European countries are still searching out there.

The whole case might have been forgotten soon enough, what with the holidays coming up, had German pathologist and forensic physician Hans Grubach—who had done the autopsies at the behest of the Bavarian police—not made public his views. Though the gravity and impact of his ideas were shrugged off by all official institutions, they are worth repeating in the briefest possible terms.

Dr. Grubach said that someone, via telepathy, had wormed their way into the simple psyche of the cow and through cerebral vibes had driven the cattle to heightened hostility, meanwhile manipulating the livestock to their own ends, though what those ends might be, Dr. Grubach, a preeminent scientist, declined to speculate. Dr. Grubach might have had to suffer the mockery of his colleagues to the end of his days had his explanation not been borne out soon thereafter in the grimmest possible way. The frenzied cattle had not only greatly enhanced physical might, which they used, as we have already described, to terrorize the local population and animals, but they had access to remarkable psychic powers that they used—in the form of the poltergeist phenomenon—to do damage, sparking blazes in which, to date, some thirty cattle farms in Western European countries have burnt to the ground.


The press and police of Europe, caught off guard by all of this, had no idea how to react, so ultimately they opted for the most straightforward approach, much like the one used, for instance, in the case of flying saucers: ignorance and the withholding of information from the public. There were some people, however, who resolved, angered by such a situation, to take agricultural and bovid justice into their own hands. Under the apt name of the "Anti-Cowsquad," they organized illegal paramilitary and para-police units committed to hunting down the packs of wayward cattle, which even at this moment were still hiding out in wooded areas throughout Europe. A ruthless struggle against the cows soon began, which produced concrete results. By New Year's, in England alone, several rogue cattle packs had been located, which were then rounded up or dispatched on the spot. The press did not seem to see this story as much more than sensationalism. But was it in fact?

When we dug for information that would shed more light on the unprecedented surge of bovine hostility, we consulted several foreign publications that write on paranormal phenomena—a perfect dovetail with the cow case.

Karlo Trotter, Glasgow seer and wizard, whom we remember for his on-the-nose predictions for the big Manchester United-Juventus game of 1978, urges us to have a look at the famous Nostradamus prophecies. Moreover, Trotter claims, the celebrated French prophet had predicted something similar long ago and this is only the beginning of what will grow to become far-ranging aggression between bovine kind and the human race. This is what Nostradamus, apparently, had to say:

The twelfth year after the fall of the bloody tower,
at moon full in a sky dark,
beasts heard vile commands
of horns red with spilt blood.

According to Trotter, even the uninitiated can understand the thrust of Nostradamus's words. We can easily see that the "twelfth year after the fall of the bloody tower" suggests twelve years after 1982, the fall of the bloody tower being understood as an allegory for the great train crash in the Belgian Ardennes—also known by its old medieval name as "Red Tower"—used with frequency to refer to a mountain bridge that back in '82 collapsed under a train that, surprise, surprise, was transporting two hundred and fifty cows that were killed on that occasion. Furthermore, says seer and wizard Karlo Trotter, "at moon full in a sky dark" is clearly an allusion to October 1994 when the full moon would be uniquely aligned with our planet and Mercury, long a symbol of the Gemini astrological sign. At that moment, if Nostradamus and Trotter the seer can be believed, all the cows of the world will unite and turn on us humans. With chilling brevity, Trotter says that the line referring to "horns red with spilt blood" requires no explanation.

There were others who read the surge of aggressive behavior among cows in certain European countries in their own way. Reverend Louis Harrison Smith, for instance, leader of a small but influential sect, the Thirteenth Day of the Apocalypse, a religious order based in the Kalahari, claimed that the frenzied behavior of the cattle was only one of the portents for the future and, in his words, the imminent arrival of the Anti-Christ on earth. Their sign is 666, said Reverend Louis Harrison Smith, alluding to the fact that the tails of the belligerent cattle were deformed in a peculiar and alarming way, in a shape that could be interpreted as a symbolic rendering of the number six. In support of this statement, Smith noted the substantiated information that the runaway cows usually move in groups of three, so their tails quite vividly conjure the three sixes, the sign of Beelzebub, who is prophesied, in the Bible, to rise up at some point in this period in an attempt to assert his mastery.

Reverend Louis Harrison Smith, however, became too enamored of his own rhetoric and as a result ended up in jail, which raised much dust among alternative religious groups. Smith, accompanied by his closest collaborators, traveled to Europe, to France, where he commenced an unheralded cull of innocent cows, claiming that by doing so he was fulfilling his holy mission, inspired, so he claimed, by the very heavens. After the infamous, plainly savage butchering of fourteen cows, Reverend Louis Harrison Smith and four of his helpers were caught while in a hamlet near Strasbourg under cover of night, attempting to liquidate three poor and quite amiable cows owned by Jean Baptiste Juare, the farmer on a small farm, who gave the unfortunate cow-killers a sound thrashing and then turned them over to the authorities.

There, in brief, you have the chronology of these strange events connected to the sudden surge of aggression of one portion of Europe's cows, and we have heard some of the most interesting theories that attempt to explain the cause and effect of this unprecedented rampage of otherwise gentle bovids that give milk, and moo.

However, in these first days of the new year, word has been reaching us from Europe of further related occurrences. In Norway on New Year's Eve, a pack of cows suddenly attacked an isolated village on the coast facing Greenland, and the surviving witnesses speak of a new breed of aggressive cows that have not only Herculean strength, but can leap fifty feet into the air and jump thirty feet in length.

It is up to us, how far we are willing to believe these statements, and how much they are leaps of fancy . . .

translated from the Bosnian by Ellen Elias-Bursac