A lot has been made recently of the use of cows as soothsayers. This is just foolishness for cows cannot tell you anything about the future, although they can discuss the past at length as in the case of Ayrshire cattle, which are known experts on the Hundred Years War. Bulls, however, have incredible clairvoyant skills and have been used to provide auguries since the days of the ancient Greeks whose shamans clambered after aurochs back and forth across the wasted Attic hills looking for answers.
Few outside the corridors of power, however, knew how many modern professional politicians rely on the fortune-telling prowess of today’s bulls. But the recent outing of these practices in the Huffington Post by Arianna Huffington has put this arcane practice on the front page. (Arianna has long been an expert on the subject of cows, and an enthusiast for bull of all sorts.)
But does this work? Really? I mean, really? Really?
In a few vertebrates, the prostate has certain clairomantic and thaumaturgic properties. Both bears and bulls are known for this. As difficult as it is to restrain a bull to palp his prostate for a reading, it is even more difficult to do so with a bear. (This is how bulls became the symbol for “Go for it” in the stock market while bears came to represent, “Not so fast, buster.”) Fortunately, today’s bulls are a lot easier to manage and catch than the anti-Greek aurochs of ancient times. Further, evolution has taken great strides in the modern bovine, and it is no longer necessary to use a calliope (Greek for reading tube) to see whether the prostate says “Maybe” or “My sources say no.”
Today the modern bovirancer, or “coworancer” if you prefer, simply states his question aloud in a “yes” or “no” format, then gives the prostate gland a firm squeeze. The supplicant looking for his answer holds a flask (or bulliculum) beneath the animal’s John Thomas in which he catches the resulting ejaculate. The bovirancer hands the flask to a jismogondor (or cumscriptionist) for a reading. If the liquid is creamy off-white the answer is positive and if it is a creamy ivory color the answer is no.
So there you have it. Cattle. Nature’s most mysterious meat.