Sunday, September 22, 2013

Котчик, Dogs, Cow, and Shadow

June 28, 2013

The problem with the dog being off his chain (in addition to his propensity for attacking small children) was the fact that while he was loose Котчик wisely made himself scarce. It wasn’t until midday today (after the dog was back on his chain) that the cat reappeared. I feel bad for the poor dog on his tiny chain, although it is definitely better for the kids and cats of the village that he be confined. I’ve made sure to visit him and scratch his head.

The reddish-brown Mochi-type dog remains elusive, although I can tell that he/she (don’t know, although given how friendly the big dog is with it, it’s probably a girl) would like to be my friend. She comes slinking towards me, wagging her tail, but chickens out when she gets a few feet away from me. Once she licked my outstretched hand, then ran for the hills. Of all bizarre things, I have seen it snuggling with the juvenile cow. The dog was on its back next to the cow, and the cow was nuzzling its belly.

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Taken with my long lens.

The fact that the cow likes to hang out with the dog might explain the cow’s very un-cow-like behavior. Most cows ignore me, although some will lick my hand or tolerate a head-rub. I had been petting this cow and rubbing her forehead (which, like the big white dog, she obviously enjoyed). When I stopped rubbing her forehead and began to walk away, the cow went into what I can only describe as a dog’s playing routine – you know, the way a dog acts when it is trying to get another dog (or a human) to play with it. I’d certainly never seen a cow do that before. Now when she sees me she comes running up, wanting to play. I have to be careful to avoid her hooves and little horn-buds. She head-butted me in the shoulder and it was quite painful. I’m not sure how old this cow is, although she’s definitely not full grown. I’m glad she’s a girl, as most boy-cows get eaten, while most girl cows are kept alive for their breeding and milk-producing skills. (Of course, if my only options were death or breeding, that would be a difficult choice for me; who knows how the cow feels.)

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In addition to Котчик, the dogs, and the cow (there are plenty of chickens, too, but they are not friendly) I have developed a Shadow in the form of nine year old Aidai. She is absolutely fascinated by everything that I do. Additionally, even though she is only 9 years old, she is essentially fluent in Russian as her second language. Granted, I have a more extensive Russian vocabulary than she does, but she’s nine. I’m sure her parents have a more extensive Kyrgyz vocabulary than she does. She’s constantly asking me how to say things in English, writing them down, and practicing them. Additionally, the family had a Japanese student stay with them for a week last year, and she picked up quite a few Japanese phrases from her in just that week. It’s really impressive. She just watched me plan one of my lessons for Monday, and has essentially already learned all of the content!

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Aidai (left) and one of her friends

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