Sunday, April 10, 2011


Photo by Kerstin Joensson/AP

This is a story about a girl who lives in Laufen, Germany, and her name is Regina Mayer.  She is 15 years old, and she wants a horse.  But her parents won't give her one.  Which is exactly what happened to my mom when she was growing up.  She wanted a horse, but her parents wouldn't give her one.

Anyway, Regina decided she would not let the lack of a horse keep her from riding, so she spent two years teaching a cow to let her ride it.  The cow's name is Luna, which means "moon" in Spanish and maybe some other languages, too.  Luna lets Regina get on her back and ride her, and she will even let Regina put a saddle on her.

Kerstin Joensson/AP
Also Luna has learned to jump over hurdles, just like a show horse would do.  The hurdles are made out of beer crates and logs, and Regina probably built them herself.  If you want to see Luna and Regina jumping the hurdle, you can watch a video here.

One of Regina's teenaged neighbors, whose name is Martin Putzhammer, said, "At first I thought it was kind of weird -- a kid on a cow?  Had to get used to it, but once I did I thought it was pretty funny."

The RSPCA did not think the situation was quite so amusing.  A spokesperson for that group said she is worried that Luna might hurt her udders.  She also said, "Riding a cow is definitely not something we'd recommend."

But speaking of cows that jump over things, I started thinking about that nursery rhyme that talks about the cow jumping over the moon.  Maybe you remember this rhyme because your mom or dad read it to you when you were a kid.  Or else maybe you read it to your own kids.

Anyway, I looked it up in Wikipedia, and I found out that the very earliest version of this poem that anybody knows about goes all the way back to 1765, when it was printed in London in Mother Goose's Melody.  Here is what the original version said:

High diddle diddle,
The Cat played the Fiddle,
The Cow jump'd over the Moon,
The little dog laugh'd to see such Craft,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon.

Then there is a comment in the book that says, "It must be a little dog that laugh'd, for a great dog would be ashamed to laugh at such nonsense."  I think this is not a very nice comment about little dogs.  The real thing that should be said here is that big dogs take life way too seriously, but little dogs have a sense of humor.  At least that's how I see it.

A lot of people have made up theories about where this poem came from and what its deep, hidden meaning is.  But probably the real truth is that it is just a little verse that was meant to be silly and fun to say to children.

And maybe there is a German version of this poem that inspired Regina Mayer to teach her cow to jump.


  1. We saw this the other day and thought it was an interesting thing. What really confused my mom was how this kid was not allowed to have a horse but was allowed to have a cow. But I guess maybe that's how things work in Germany. My mom also wanted a horse when she was a kid. Actually mom wanted an elephant and thought a horse was a nice compromise, but I think I may have told you that already. Evidently her parents were not very good at compromising because my mom did get either a horse or an elephant for a pet as a kid.

    Zest, Superstar!
    (Mom said I could drop the "in training" part for today only because I got my very first Excellent Standard Q with a FIRST place today!)

  2. Dear Superstar!
    Congratulations on your big win today! I am very proud to say I knew you back when you were "in training," and I hope you will still be my friend even after you are all famous and stuff.

    In the story about the girl riding the cow, Mom and I thought maybe the family lived on a farm where they already had cows, but they did not want to spend money on a horse because horses are expensive and they don't produce milk and you can't really sell them for the meat. So maybe the girl just picked one of the family's cows to train. We were just surprised that her parents would let her risk hurting the cow like that. But like you said, maybe that's how they do things in Germany.

    Your friend, Piper

  3. Anything about "cows" I I've been collecting cows for about 30+ years now!! :)

    Most important: great to have you writing your own blog glad you're feeling better.
    Love, AP

  4. Dear AP,
    I did not know you collected cows. Maybe I can find more interesting stories about cows to put in my blog. Can you ride any of your cows? I still think it would be more fun to ride a horse.
    Love, Piper