"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

être the cow by Sean Kenniff

A tear for civility. Remembering stories passed over to me by ancestors about the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, and covered in historical references, made it easy to appreciate the premise of être the cow. In terms of civility, knowledge bears no more comfort than ignorance.

Despite être, in his own suffering, believing fireflies enjoy a freedom he pined for, no life escapes the processes that subsistence require. Like the air we breathe, the vegetation (être himself trampled and ate) and/or flesh we consume, life is a continuously revolving process. And yes, we can be kinder in this process, but then as Kenniff so eloquently lays out in the voice of être, how are we to be sure what kinder is if we're unable to communicate with entities beyond our understanding. Again, knowledge bears no more comfort than ignorance.

Compelling storytelling, and a handsome tabletop parable.


  1. +JMJ+

    When I first saw the title, which can literally be read as "To Be the Cow," I had no idea it was for a parable of the slave trade.

    That's an interesting point about knowledge and ignorance both being equally poor sources of comfort.

  2. Yes, être does mean 'to be', but I don't believe the author intended it to be a parable for the slave trade, yet it's exactly what came to mind as I got to reading the story, and especially when I finished. Breeding, selling, and slaughtering 'animals' without thought or feelings for the herd, for commerce. It was a truly touching story, very pretty book, and a quick read.

    Thanks for stopping by Enbrethiliel.

  3. The hierarchy of the human race remains a sad and challenging topic. Life most definitely is a continuously revolving process. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention. It seems right up my alley. I will definitely add it to my reading list.

  4. You're welcome Annie. Mr. Kenniff certainly weaved a great tale speaking through the voice of a cow.