Your basket (0 items) | view basket
My Life as a Horse10 April 2011 Zie Nederlandse versie
by Arnold Jansen op de Haar
Fifteen-year-old Regina Mayer from the village of Laufen in Southern Germany has succeeded in making Luna the cow jump like a horse. Her farmer parents refused to give her a horse, so she simply saddled one of their cows. After a bit of effort, she managed to teach the cow to jump over a fence.
‘She thinks she is a horse,’ was Regina’s comment about Luna. ‘If she is willing to do something she does it but if it is not to her liking she refuses.’
I find this is rather confusing: a cow that thinks it is a horse. I also consider Regina’s remark a bit muddled. I think it is normal for a cow to do its own thing. However, if this cow thinks it is a horse, it will take orders. Well, a typical horse obeys its boss, otherwise the police would use cows instead of horses. Actually it would make a lovely picture: a herd of police cows chasing a gang of hooligans.
Recently during a PE lesson at a Scottish school earthworms fell down from heaven. Not surprisingly taking into account the amount of horizontal rain in Scotland, it must have confused the earthworms. However according to the teacher it was a beautiful bright day.
Generally speaking animals have a clear head; they are much better than people at knowing what they are. Animals simply behave like animals. The great white shark puts its teeth into everything, seals and surfboards alike; it is his role in life. Pigeons cover roofs with droppings, that is what pigeons do. Donkeys are stubborn and dogs are faithful. When an animal acts out of the ordinary, it hits the world’s headlines.
It is different for people, they act strangely all the time. This is my theory: people behave like animals - think of going to the toilet or making love - but on the whole not in public. People cover up animal behaviour to some extent, but sometimes they can’t help themselves.
At this very moment, some MP out there may well be creating a sex scandal or else preparing a very odd expense claim. You aren’t by any chance picking your nose while reading this, are you? Research tells us that two percent of the readers of this column have just pinched someone’s bottom or are about to do so.
Just this week I discussed this with my creative writing students: whatever outlandish scenario you invent, it will have happened before.
Five to ten percent of children are quite mistaken about who is their natural father. In our everyday society this is mostly hushed up. Literature can look at things from anyone’s point of view, so if it works as it should, literature, or rather art in general, reveals what is kept hidden.
Luckily in ordinary life not all is revealed. For example I know a couple who have children, so I can only assume they have had sex. You don’t know them, otherwise you too would be reminded of cat food past its sell-by date. It suffices to say that you shouldn’t try to picture it for your own physical and mental wellbeing.
A child takes everything at face value. Only later do you realise that all is not what it seems.
I feel a bit sorry for this cow which thinks it is a horse. Other cows appear to blackball this cow with an identity crisis. ‘Just behave like a cow,’ they moo. Quite frankly, a cow which thinks it is a horse is showing too much human behaviour.
I am sure there is someone out there who thinks he is a horse; we just have to wait for the novel My Life as a Horse.
© Arnold Jansen op de Haar
© Translation Holland Park Press
You can leave your comment on our forum.
Previous columns:An Altruistic Writer
Tell a friend
Back to magazine