The Passing of CH4

 TV news item, March 2009: “Some members of the scientific community are so concerned about the quantity of greenhouse gas in the form of methane being produced by the world cow population that they plan to surgically and chemically modify a test cow to try to eliminate its output.”

Spare a thought for unfortunate Minnie the cow,

a young, contented and proud Murray grey,

who’s now an exploratory

bovine laboratory,

munching genetically-modified hay.

All four of her stomachs are wired with sensors

that pick up the acid and alkaline trail;

though they’ll never admit

where they hid the transmitter,

we’re told the antenna runs down through her tail!

Her flanks display banks of small chemical tanks

to damp down the processes raging inside;

her rump carries bumps

from remote-controlled pumps

implanted offhandedly under her hide.

Chlorites and nitrites and metabisulphites

are there on demand as the gas levels rise,

but to Minnie, so formal,

they prove she’s not normal,

and great tears of sadness well up in her eyes.

So pity poor Minnie, the methaneless cow,

a victim of carbon’s irrational fears;

a pawn in the name

of the climate-change game,

derided by farmers, shunned by her peers.

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