Sinking the Body

Hey diddle diddle
The cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped….into the bay.

Well, more likely was pushed. Or dragged. Or maybe dumped. But whoever was trying to get rid of this corpse forgot to attach the cement weights, and this poor brown and white cow drifted around the Port of Kingston, Washington, a couple weeks ago, and washed up on a beach–within sight of the Kingston ferry landing.

This is not the kind of treasure you want to find when you’re beachcombing. And especially not the kind of debris the Port of Kingston wanted floating around its marinas. When it didn’t float away on the high tide as they hoped it would, port workers dragged it back into the water and tied a buoy to it, hoping to prevent boats from running into it and also to prevent it from drifting back onto the beach.

The cow was news in several area newspapers, including front page news in our North Kitsap Herald with one article’s title, “Surf and Turf…..” According to the newspaper report, the harbormaster had conferred with about eight different agencies, but no one was jumping at the chance to lay this body to rest.

Early efforts included shooting the cow by county deputies who hoped the water would fill the holes and sink it. It remained partially visible. In the end, port employees themselves sank the cow by using chain and cinder blocks.

A source of contamination of Puget Sound, or the Salish Sea, is animal waste run-off from farms. But this is apparently not the case of an animal carcass. The harbormaster predicted the cow would be a feast for many crabs all summer.

In all fairness, the cow may not have been pushed or dragged or even dumped by a perpetrator. Perhaps it was just the victim of an accidental drowning. Or maybe a miscalculation in attempting to jump over the moon.

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