... Yes, I did say Cows in School
I'm no cow expert. I can tell the difference between a cow and, say, a horse, but when it comes to a cow and another cow I haven't got a clue.
To me cows produce milk, moo, occasionally jump over the moon and that's about it. Although even if I were an expert I doubt I'd be able to give a rational explanation for the behaviour of the Sri Lankan cow. Although even if I were an expert I doubt I'd be able to give a rational explanation for the behaviour of the Sri Lankan cow.
Truly they fascinate me. I return when I can, supposedly to help out in the under-privileged schools in Ja'Ela, but really I'm there for the cows.
The first time it happened I put it down to the sapping heat. I was teaching English in front of thirty wide-eyed and eager children and into the classroom as casually as you like strolled a cow. It stared at me momentarily, looked at the blackboard and then left.
What bothered me most was the reaction of the children. No one screamed, no one ran for cover, they just stared wide-eyed and expectant as if the cow had never been there.
For a brief moment I doubted myself. Was the heat so intense that I'd begun hallucinating cows? I had to check. I walked to the doorway as matter-of-factly as possible and caught the hind legs of the cow disappearing into the next classroom.
Later the principal explained to me that the cows prefer Geography classes to English.
This wasn't the point. I'm no cow expert but I know that cows don't go to school. They don't sit in train carriages with three nuns, a beggar and a rather startled looking voluntary English teacher, and they don't stand around on street corners whispering to one other.
Someone should really tell the Sri Lankans this is not normal.