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Sibling Rivalry: Count the Cows

These are the rules for a car game I used to play with my siblings called "Count the Cows". The game works best on long scenic drives through dairy states (i.e. Wisconsin). Divide the car into two groups; traditionally left and right sides of the car, but you could use front and back as well. Each group is assigned one side of the road, left or right. When you spot a group of cows in a pasture on your side of the road, start counting! You must stop counting as soon as the car passes the cows (no fair turning around and looking back). If a cemetary appears on your side of the road you lose ALL your cows and have to start again. Keep a running tally of your cows for the duration of the trip.  Group with the most cows at journey's end "wins".

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Almost every Sunday after church, our family would take a "Sunday Drive" in the countryside. Pretty cheap entertainment--typically cost my parents gas money and an ice cream for everyone at the end.

There are some really great county roads in southeastern Wisconsin through scenic, rolling (thank you glaciers!) farmland. All the rocks deposited by the glaciers made this lousy land for cultivation...but great for raising cows on family dairy farms! Hence the invention of "Count the Cows".

After a while we began to memorize certain routes of the "Sunday Drive", including the exact location of practically every cemetary in the county. This sometimes led to battles about which side of the road was better for the game. Mostly though, "Count the Cows" was a friendly car game and a good alternative to "Auto Bingo", which we could never play anyway because my youngest sister claimed it made her carsick...even if SHE wasn't playing.

Heidi Raatz

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