Saturday, May 28, 2011

How now?

This is exactly the sort of thing I try to avoid when I go to sales—knickknacks, tchotchkes, bric-a-brac—pick your favorite synonym for dust-catching figurines that clutter all surfaces until you have to start branching out and covering your walls with special knickknack shelves and glass showcases. It's a slippery slope. But at one particularly great sale, when I was already laden down with books and board games and kitschy message centers because it was the kind of sale where they don't trust you to bring in your own shopping bag and you don't trust them to watch your pile in the "reserved" section, I kept circling back to this $1 cow.

I think she—oh god, I'm anthropomorphizing a knickknack!—reminds of Ferdinand, titular character of one of my favorite children's books of all time. But Ferdinand was a bull—a benign bull—and this is clearly a cow, but Ferdinand did have a mother, a very awesome mother, described in a classic backhandedly complimentary way by Munro Leaf: "His mother saw that he was not lonesome, and because she was an understanding mother, even though she was just a cow, she let him just sit there and be happy." Just a cow? Come on.

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