The life-size plywood cows that adorn Lynne Merlino’s East Kessler front lawn are nothing special, she says — “it’s the stories that have happened along the way.” Peggy and Dennis Victor purchased the first one at the Rosemont Early Childhood PTA auction nearly a decade ago, and the neighborhood children began carting it around to each other’s yards. One of the fathers put his woodcraft skills to work and created a calf to match the mama. When the Victors decided to move to the suburbs two years ago, “they knew the people in their little perfect neighborhood would not like the cow being in their yard, so we told her the cows had to stay in the Cliff,” Merlino says. That’s how they ended up a block and a half down the street on the Merlinos’ front lawn, but the cows don’t easily stay put. (To read a couple of the amusing stories about their travels, visit and click on “blog”.) When the cows come home to the Merlinos’ yard, they “just kind of blend in,” Merlino says — if passersby spot them, “it really looks like a cow is in our yard grazing.”