Of Platypi and Cows

In honor of the end of yet another grand Saturday here in the Papuas, I have a few stories from the past week for you:

1) Just a few days back, I told my Creative Writing class that their next short story could follow one of two prompts.  Either they could tell the story of a grocery store robbery from the robber’s perspective (the robber is, by the way, on crutches), or they could write a short children’s book about a platypus who escapes from the zoo.  The response from one of my Australian students was (and this is a direct quotation), “I have no idea what you Americans think a platypus is.”  We Americans are apparently quite misguided in thinking a platypus would be capable of such a feat.

2) One of my 9th graders asked me if I wanted to take part in the family business yesterseve. I of course agreed, since I’d never milked a cow before.  Which is why, had you been in Ukarumpa in the gloaming, you would have heard a man laughing in triumph as he successfully drained one utter in the time it took his partner to drain the other three.

The system is pretty neat, actually.  Twice a day, the cow (Venus) is milked for a full six liters, which are then filtered, refrigerated, and divided into cans or jugs.  One of the family members then delivers these jugs to the folks who ordered fresh milk, and the cycle continues, day after day.  I’d order some myself to try, but apparently their supply is lower than their demand presently, so I’m all out of luck.

Now that I know the trick though, I suppose I could go out for a midnight milking and risk imprisonment.  I prefer skim milk back home, so I’m not sure the risk would be quite worth it, I’m afraid.

3 thoughts on “Of Platypi and Cows

  1. Thanks for this utterly entertaining and mooooving post. There is also a Tweeting comment in there somewhere, but I will resist the urge. My creative writing teachers never gave us fun assignment subjects like yours; sounds like your students should enjoy your class. Thanks to the cow photo, Higgins Dog has sworn off your blog for the next few days. Sorry. Eat more chicken.

  2. Hahaha – thanks. …though it sounds like you read that “Cow Jokes” book from our youth a few too many times. Higgins is always looking for some excuse to be depressed, so I guess this is for the best.

  3. Milking a cow?! I’ve never done that, but I think it would be fun to try:) Paw-Paw should be so proud, as I’m sure he’s milked many. Love.

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