Cow etiquette

I didn’t really have anything to do today so I decided to drive around the island. Again. I think I’ve already gone around the island 9 or 10 times, but what the hell. The thing is, even though the road around the island is only 30 miles long, you always see something new. Like last time I came across these bee hives in the jungle. And when I got out to check them out, the bees, which were the size of hummingbirds, chased me back to my car. Jungle bees on steroids.

This afternoon I came across two things I hadn’t seen before. The first was a cow that was tethered to a rope that was strung out across the road. I’m not even sure you could call this beast a cow. I don’t know what it was. Except that it had horns and was cross-eyed and did not seem happy to see me. Here it was, in the middle of nowhere, tied up in the jungle, with absolutely no interest in letting me by. So I stopped the car in the road, got out, and made some ridiculous noises to get it to move. Which it eventually did. After giving me the cross-eyed stink eye.


photos by David Lansing

photos by David Lansing

Then, a few minutes later, I came across this boulder beneath some coconut trees in the jungle. As first it caught my attention because of its weird blue color. Then I realized that someone had actually carved a relief on the boulder. If you squint and look carefully, you’ll see that the figure on the rock is a Polynesian superwoman (it has small boobies). Sort of leaning back and staring defiantly at the sky. As if she’s going to take off into the wild blue yonder any minute now. But the black lichen growing on her suggests she’s been thinking about this for some time now. And flying ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.

So that was my day. After all that excitement, you can understand why I was anxious to get back to the Matavai in time for cocktail hour. And to sit on the deck with the handful of other guests and watch the sun fall into the ocean. 

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  1. Mark Cross’s avatar

    That cow is dead now which leaves only one beast left on the island. The Vaikona cow died of loneliness and unfullfilled aspirations for a cow revolution on Niue. The one horned, fern eating cow on the Alofi/Liku road is the only one left and no bulls. Not a good demographic if you want to have a cow revolution.

  2. Mark Cross’s avatar

    The small breasted Iki Motu effigy was actually planted in Liku by extra terrestrials. You ask any villager and they cannot tell you where it came from or who it depicts. There is a strange loss of memory documented in Liku during a period between 1897 and about 1905. There is a collective amnesia during this period but it is believed that ETs came and took over Liku during that period, built a church, interbred with the Liku people, took some of them with them when they left. My children have always had a vague, stargazing disposition. This is because they are one quarter extra terrestrial. And so the Iki Motu statue is sacred to them.

  3. Nogi Head’s avatar

    ?? … we went around the island on the day (during one of our trips home back then) & it made the day for my two sons, we suddenly stopped brakes when we come across this ‘coconut farm’ in Liku … just as we all kept the habit with seat-belts on…”there’s a cow on Niue, 2x….” … ” it looks lonely… kept looking for another one, no it looked like its on its own, oh poor thing, its not right … should have two of whatever for company?” “oh poor cow” … “bye cow” … THIS WAS THE HIGH LIGHT OF OUR TRIP FOR MY BOYS & THE TALK OF THE FAMILY WHEN WE GOT BACK TO AUCKLAND especially to their dad. (thanks for bringing this up …) ??

    ?? … very impressed with that blue statue … “who was the artist?” was my question. … cant be J Pule, he may not born yet! …

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