Thursday, May 7, 2015

How I Became a Mad Scientist - Episode 8

I found an empty plastic tub and filled half of it with water and the other half with dirt and hay.  I figured Bessie could choose whichever side she wanted. I put a bowl of milk inside.  Then I added a plate of tuna, just in case her Kraken side needed different food than her cow side did.

Frank stood around grumbling the whole time.  “Can you hold her for a sec?” I asked.  “I need to go to the bathroom.” I plopped her gently into his hands.  When I got back, Bessie was twined around Frank’s arm and he was smiling at her.

“I can’t believe this worked,” he murmured. “If I was allowed to write this up, we’d be famous.”  He shook himself. “Fine, we can keep her, since she seems harmless,” he said.  “But won’t your mom notice the disappearing food?”

I shook my head. “She’s in the middle of a major project. She’ll just assume I’m having a growth spurt or feeding you or something. It won’t be a problem at all.”

I was right, at least for the first couple of days. Bessie was a hungry little thing. I needed to feed her about every two hours.  She also pooped a lot, so I had to clean out her bin about twice a day. As long as I kept her clean and fed, she was pretty quiet most of the time.  Unless I was late with a meal. Then things could get a little difficult.

When Bessie was about three days old, I was in the middle of a level on the latest “Warriors of Destiny” game during her second breakfast time.   I figured I’d get to a save spot and then get to her.  How hungry could a little Kraken-cow get?  

 Moaning moos started to echo down the hall, but I ignored them. Mom was in the middle of a tough assignment that involved a lot of research and complicated writing. She wouldn’t even hear the tornado sirens if they went off. There was no way Bessie would bother her.

I hadn’t counted on Mom emerging from her cave.  “George, that’s enough screen time for this morning,” she said, coming into the living room behind me.  I was about to explain how I just needed to save when Bessie let out a plaintive call that sighed through the whole house.

Mom jumped. “What was that?” She asked.

I shrugged. “Must be the wind or something,” I said. I quit the game, hoping to get to Bessie before she did. As I headed down the hall, Bessie called again.  

“That’s not the wind,” Mom said. “The trees aren’t even moving.  What is going on?”

“Um…” I stammered, trying to come up with an explanation. Bessie’s cries echoed down the hall. “It’s me,” I said. “I’ve been having diarrhea and gas. I just didn’t want to bother you.”

I felt awful as my mom’s face fell. She dashed down the hall and felt my head. ‘Oh, honey,” she said. ‘I’m so sorry. I’ve been too busy. I should have noticed you weren’t feeling well.  Why don’t you go rest, and I’ll run out for some chicken soup and ginger ale and crackers and...” 

Bessie mooed again.  “Actually, maybe you should hit the bathroom first. How long has this been going on? Do you want me to call the doctor?”

“It’s probably just a virus. Or something I ate.”  My stomach was starting to hurt now, actually.  I hated lying to mom, but I couldn’t let her find Bessie.  “Ginger ale would be great, though.  Really great.”  I slipped into my room and closed the door. 

 I didn’t come out until I heard the jangle of Mom’s keys and the slam of the front door.   Then I got Bessie her lunch.  She scarfed it down in under a minute and demanded more. And then even more.  My Kraken-Cow had apparently decided to have a growth spurt.

I grabbed a couple of gallons of milk and about 10 cans of salmon, tuna, and mackerel. If Mom thought I was sick, I couldn’t afford to be out wandering the house, and it looked like today I’d be stuck feeding Bessie every 15 minutes or so.  “MooAAAOWWWW” Make that every 10 minutes.  Raising a Kraken-Cow was turning out to be hard work.

Next Episode.

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