Monday, June 24, 2013

Between the Lines: The Cow That Jumped Over the Moon

Over the past couple of years, I've had the pleasure of interviewing some fantastic literary characters, but I don't think I've ever been more curious to speak with a guest than I am today. With all the talk lately of the Super Moon, I thought it would be appropriate. She performed one of the greatest feats in the history of nursery rhymes. Frankly, I have no clue as to how she accomplished it. I am talking, of course, about the Cow That Jumped Over the Moon.

Greg:  First off, thank you so much for taking time out from what must be an impossibly busy schedule to answer some questions for our readers.

Cow:  Not at all, my dear. Fire away! As a matter of fact things have been moooving along rather slowly of late. Not much happening, really apart from standing in a field all day eating grass. I do love grass. Terribly tasty.

Greg:  I'm sure it is. I think what everyone is dying to know is, why did you do it?

Cow:  Do what?

Greg:  Why, jump over the moon, of course.

Cow:  Oh that! My dear boy, that's nothing--just a bit of fun, really.

Greg:  A bit of fun?

Cow:  Yes, of course. I mean, one has to think up stunts of this sort just to keep one's brain from atrophying. If I stood around all day eating, they'd cart me off to the knacker yard in no time.

Greg:  Knacker yard?

Cow:  Slaughterhouse, dear. Not a pretty thought. But oh my, where were we?

Greg:  Well, you were going to tell me why you jumped over the moon.

Cow:  That's right, that's right. Do you see? That's what happens to your mind when you're standing about in a field all day. Ghastly. Well, I decided to jump over the moon--did you know cows are built for just such a feat?

Greg:  Er, they are?

Cow:  Oh my, yes. We have remarkably springy legs. Most people don't realize. Have you ever seen a cow go over a cliff? No? Well, you really should at least once. You would think it frightful, but it's really rather amazing. They bounce, you see. No, I'm not joking, they do.

I once saw a whole herd of Jerseys run straight off a cliff and bounce clear across the entire county. They all made perfect four hoof landings, too. Brilliant. Now, my cousin Herbert, he was a champion jumper in his time. Took the blue ribbon at the county fair five years running. Wound up as a rump roast.

Greg:  That's awful!

Cow:  Yes, well he had the last laugh. You see, when the farmer and his family tried to eat him, they couldn't stomach him. He was too rubbery. Ha! Sorry, just a little joke. Herbert's fine. They take good care of him. I didn't mean to be so crass, but I just couldn't resist!

Greg:  But what about your jump?

Cow:  Well you see, my jump was a bit different as I did it from a standing bounce. Mind you, it's not easy doing it like that, if I do say so myself. As a matter of fact, I never would have tried to do it at all if it hadn't been for all the strange goings on that particular night.

Greg:  What was happening?

Cow:  I was standing out in the field and dusk was coming on. The farmer was watching Monty Python's Flying Circus on the telly, and he'd lost track of time--otherwise I would have been in the barn by then. 

Suddenly, all heck broke loose. First this cat came by playing a fiddle. I'd never seen anything like that before. Between you and me, he wasn't very good. Now, I'll tell you something--here's where the rhyme got it wrong. I did not jump next. The little dog laughed at the cat, which really hurt his feelings, poor thing. Then, the dish ran away with the spoon. I knew they were sweet on each other, but I never thought they would take off like that. 

I was so surprised that I just jumped. What happened next caused some small degree of controversy. My hind hooves almost nicked the moon, you see. Some thought they did, but I cleared it cleanly. I've had a judge's ruling, so that fact has been officially verified. I have the certificate to prove it. I hope that puts to rest any controversy that might be out there.

Greg:  I should think so. It certainly was amazing in any case. This has been very illuminating. Thank you so much for stopping by Mrs., um Ms...

Cow:  It's Miss., thank you very much--Miss. Flossy Holstein, but you may call me Flo, all my friends do. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for All Creatures Great and Small. The farmer and I never miss it. Ta, Ta!

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