January 5th


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T’S your favorite time, dear Mordochka. Rise and shine!  
Wait until you hear today’s story. It’s from Russia. You’ll love it because it’s about cows. Thanks to them, you get a spoonful of ice cream every day.


     Vladimir needed a name for his new little Russian calf. Vladimir loves his cows and will do anything to make them happy. He also likes to make people happy. He says it’s good for cows: if people are happy, their cows will be happy and then they give happy milk. (Don’t look at me that way, Mordochka. That’s what he said.  Do you think ice cream is sweet all by itself?!)

     Once, Vladimir called a friend who lives in America. He said, “Let’s have a contest to name my new calf.  The winner will get a pair of valenki [felt boots] from Russia. What do you think?” 

     When the friend stopped laughing, she sent an email to her friends. Those friends read the email, laughed, and then wrote to their friends—who then emailed even more friends. By the end of the week, there were 74 cow names.  

     The friend called Vladimir, read each name to him, and told him what they meant. There were names like Yankee Doodle Dandy, Betsy Ross, and Mrs. O’Leary.  [In Chicago in 1871 there was a terrible fire. People said it was started when Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a lamp.]  There were also food names. For example: Milky Way, Lowfat, Cheesecake, Buttermilk, and Half-pint.
     There were names like: Moo-Moo, Mooscow [Moscow], Happy Hoofs, Decalfinated, Cowntess, Ridicowlous and Cowlick.  There were even flower names: Daisy, Daffodil, Dahlia; Posy, Petunia and Black-eyed Susan.  

     On April 1st, Vladimir went out to the barn with his wife and a list of ten finalist names. Vladimir’s calf was resting quietly next to her mother. She looked up when Vladimir came in and mooed a little calf moo. One by one, he began to read the names out loud to her. He said each name three times and waited:  Flossy . . . Bessie . . . Elsie . . . Cowntess . . . Creamie . . . Cowlick . . . Daisy. When the calf heard the name DAISY, her head went up. Her ears twitched. When Vladimir said it again, she got up and went to him to have her chin scratched.
     Vladimir was happy, Daisy was happy—and the lady who won the
valenki was happy.

—Told to us by Vladimir

 ©InterestEng. July 2013 - November 2020 §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff photos or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com