Boys and Cows - Josh Sippie
Updated: Aug 17, 2021
Mr. Tadley, the anatomy teacher, stands in front of the class with that stupid look on his face
that he always had before a new class project, but given the human-body-sized lump under the white
tarp, everyone paid attention.
“There are undoubtedly some questions on your mind,” he says, in his attempt at a deep
movie trailer voice. “Like, for instance, why my entire extended family is here with us today. That’s
my wife, over there. Hi Tina. She’s pregnant, but I bet no one could tell. She’s a beehive. And our
“What’s under the tarp,” Mikey coughs. He was always the type to interrupt a moment he
wasn’t involved in.
“Yes, that. Go ahead, Mikey, pull it back and see.”
And Mikey steps up to the tarp and rips it back and immediately screams and then the whole
class screams, everyone except the extended family who apparently expected to see the pickled
corpse of a minotaur resting on the line of tenth grade desks pushed together to form a makeshift
“That’s right,” Mr. Tadley says. “From frogs to minotaurs, who wants to take the first slice?”
And we all turn to Mikey, but Mikey has suddenly come down with a fierce case of the
lookaways and we all need a way out. Mr. Tadley is staring with eyes wider than the Serengeti and it’s
all I can do to keep the question behind my teeth, but I can’t any longer, so I just out and ask the
“How is this a thing?” I say, in the most diplomatic way possible.
“Well, Killian, when a man loves a cow and—”
“Oh, Gerald,” Tina says, laughing her pregnant laugh, and now I know Mr. Tadley’s first
name, which is the second most disturbing thing that’s happened today. And Gerald—that’s Mr.
Tadley—looks at me and holds out a scalpel and I know immediately that that scalpel is not cutting
through the beefy exterior of this man cow, so I take it hesitantly and smile and touch the blade to
the exterior and before I can even press, which I had no intention of doing, the whole torso opens
up and shoots blue streams and blue slime and blue gelatin and blue spew of all sorts into the air and
I’m practically certifiable at this point, the class is too. We’re just wailing and flailing and I definitely
heard a few panicked punches connect. I hear window’s open and bodies fly through broken glass
and the fire alarm’s gone off and I’m pretty sure Fernando is in the ceiling tiles—yep, he’s just fallen
through—and all the while, Mr. Tadley, that’s Gerald, is cheering with his wife, who’s crying and I
just can’t keep it together anymore as they say something over and over that says, and I think I heard
this right, “It’s a boy! It’s a boy!”
And I figure we should all know that, right? This minotaur’s got horns, of course he’s a boy.
Josh Sippie is a foolish mortal. His writing has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Hobart, Bear Creek Gazette, and more. When not writing, can be found wondering why he isn't writing