The Cow Parade!
Cows, cows everywhere, and not a drop of milk to drink! They’re not the average cow-on-the-street you see munching their way through lush grass and mooing at each other. These are very special, very colourful cows, who have been let loose in the streets of Cannes, in the South of France, for a few weeks. We went to visit them recently, and I found them so interesting that I wanted to share them with you!
The cow parade is part of an event that started in Paris five months ago. Since their inauguration, they’ve been on the move (notice how I didn’t turn that into a word containing “moo” and be very happy!) to three different cities in France. Each time they migrate to a new place, local artists paint and add new cows to the herd. In Cannes, after their holiday in the South of France, the cows will be herded back up to Paris to be auctioned off to anyone lucky enough to have enough space in their house or garden for a life-like bovine statue. Can you imagine having a living-room large enough to put a cow in and still have room to watch TV?!
Most of the money from the sale will go to an incredibly good cause called Les Restaurants du Cœur (Restaurants With Heart). It was started in 1986 in Paris to distribute food parcels and hot meals to those in need. It quickly spread all over France and now, not only do they hand out food, they they also provide urgent short-term accommodation, help people find work, tutor children from needy families so that they can succeed at school, aid people to navigate the justice system, and a whole lot more. Basically the charity is like a Superman for the disadvantaged and deserves all the support it can get!
It was hard to choose a favourite cow from the line-up. My eldest loved the Beatles cow (the purple one in the photo above), but my younger son was more into the cow wearing pants and yellow shoes.
Me, I think if I were going to buy a cow, I would like one either with a good message, like the Happy Cow, which is the blue one with green legs in the first photo, or maybe the white cow with blue ticks on it and wings sprouting out of its back titled “Et Si Je M’Envolais” (And if I could fly). I like the possible idea behind this one that anyone, including a cow, can dream about impossible things, and maybe they will happen. Or maybe the artist just wanted you to think about how worrying it would be if cows could fly. You’d have to constantly look up to make sure their were no large cowpats heading for you. I guess your interpretation depends on how poetic you are!
If you feel the desperate need for a painted cow, the auction will be taking place in Paris in December. Maybe I should just buy the whole herd and send them to my Dad in New Zealand. These guys would eat less grass than the cattle he has, and they’re much more colourful. If you want to have a look at all the cows in The Cow Parade so you can figure out which one you want to use as a centre-piece for your entry hall, you can see photos of them here. Which one is your favourite?
After we had our fill of admiring the cows, we strolled a few metres to the beach to admire the Bay of Cannes instead. I never get tired of the view. The white building you can see at the far end of the bay is the Palais des Festivals where the Cannes Film Festival red carpet is rolled out every year. Shame the cows weren’t there during the festival. We could’ve had various stars draping themselves on them as they posed for the photographers. That would have made the photos so much more interesting!
By Lisa Watson