by Carol Dunn
Since Huerfano County is a ranching region, there have undoubtedly been cases of boanthropy around here over the years, although you never hear about them. Boanthropy is when a person believes he is a cow. By sheer will, women do not fall prey to this disorder, because it would be too hard to do the dishes, mop the floors and do the laundry if you are walking around on all-fours believing you are a cow. Not to mention the slobber. You know how cows drool sometimes when they eat or when they are standing around trying to look slightly intelligent. Well, no self respecting woman would allow herself to be seen chomping on a mouthful of grass while a long slimy string of slobber drips down over her chin. As for wiping it on her sleeve – well, just forget it.
Boanthropy is kept pretty quiet, for obvious reasons. If you are a known boanthrope, you wouldn’t get many dinner party invitations. After all, what does one serve when a boanthrope is on the guest list? Cucumber soup? Fresh greens salad? Veggie burgers? Ok, I guess a good hostess could manage the menu. But where would the boanthrope sit – or rather, stand? Would he lie on the floor and chew cud after the meal? There is not much conversation a boanthrope could add to the pleasant banter during the meal, besides “moo” and other less pleasant noises cows make. Take King Nebuchadnezzar for example. As the first known boanthrope, he was “driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen.” And you would think someone would notice if the king was out in a field on his hands and knees eating grass, but his social secretary kept it pretty hush hush in Babylon, and his subjects were totally unaware. Even though people can’t digest grass, he didn’t starve to death and was eventually cured. He did need to buy some new jeans, however, because all of his had holes in the knees. This is not to say that everyone you see today in Huerfano County with holes in the knees of their jeans are boanthropes. I’m fairly sure that is not the case. And if you want to be sure, you can just yell out “Ya hummy, ya hummy!” Cows can’t resist that because it means “dinner time” in the bovine language. And before you ask, “Just how do you know that?” I will tell you. When my mom went to the edge of the pasture in the evening and yelled that, the cows would literally come running.
So if by chance you see someone on all fours out in the pasture, don’t jump to conclusions, but have compassion on the unfortunate creature. He can’t help it, it’s probably temporary, and boanthropes have feelings too.