The Moo-niverse

This one is set in space, so you could call it science fiction, if you were feeling generous. I’d just call it a load of nonsense though, personally.

The year 2240. The alien sat atop a rocky brown outcrop on his home planet, three million light years outside the Theta Galaxy. The landscape was barren for miles around. He stared at the stars, and pondered the quintessential loneliness of existence. (Aliens can be every bit as pretentious as humans.) He shrugged his shoulders, said ‘Meep’ – the only word in the language of his race, who had learned it from a stack of old Road Runner cartoons on video cassette salvaged from a crashed human space rocket a few hundred years ago – then stood up and turned on one of his tentacles. He continued to stare up at the stars as he walked, which meant he didn’t see the cow until he collided with it.

‘Moo,’ said the cow.

‘Meep?’ said the alien.

He looked at this strange creature. He’d seen such things before, on one of his occasional crop circle-making jaunts to Earth in the early twenty-first century, before the megapocalypse that had wiped out humanity. But he had never before approached one. How had it got here, he wondered. Cows were a mystery to him, though. Perhaps they were zipping about deep space all the time. They probably contained space travel doodahs and wotsits in those pink dangly bits under their stomachs. He looked at the cow, meeped to himself, then cautiously reached out a tentacle to one of the dangly bits and gave it a pull. Milk splatted out onto the ground.

The alien looked at this. Obviously some sort of fuel, he deduced. This must power their engines. But if the engine itself wasn’t contained in its pink dangly bits, then where was it? He thought about his spaceship, a U-Neeverz Xrosser 9000. The engine in that, he remembered, was in the rear. He studied the back of the cow. It smelt peculiar. But there was a hole here, perhaps an ignition? He looked at it some more. The cow swivelled its head to look at him. ‘Moo,’ it said again. This particular ‘moo’ meant ‘don’t you even try it, sunshine’.

The alien shuffled a bit closer. The stench increased. Perhaps this was the smell of engine oil. He slowly, carefully, slid a tentacle into the hole, twiddling it deeper and deeper. How did this thing start? And how deep was this hole?

‘Moo!’ said the cow, angrily, attempting to aim a few kicks at the alien with his back legs, with no success.

The alien thought. On Earth, in the old days, he’d seen people drive cars. To move them, they put a key in the ignition and then pushed on pedals with their feet. Now obviously this wasn’t a car. But perhaps the same principle applied. He looked at the dangly bits again. He reached down with another tentacle and, rather than pulling, twisted.

‘Mooo!’ hollered the cow. And then everything popped out of existence.

And then popped back in again. The alien blinked a couple of times. He looked around and, not trusting his own eyes, rubbed them with a tentacle, an action he immediately regretted.

It had worked. They were on a different planet. Not his home world. Not Earth. Not any other place he’d ever visited. This one was covered in lush grass. Oh, and there were thousands and thousands of cows. This was a planet whose life form was exclusively bovine. When humanity was wiped out, he’d assumed everything else had perished with them. But not, apparently, these beasts. These incredible, space-travelling creatures. He wondered if the humans had known about their capabilities. He thought not. Otherwise surely there would be humans here too, and he didn’t see any. Just cows, cows, cows, as far as his five eyes could see.

‘Meep?’ he said nervously.

‘Moo!’ came the holler of a thousand cows.

The alien didn’t like this. He reinserted a tentacle, and twisted again. Everything popped out of existence again, just before the herd came thundering at him.

And then they were back, but somewhere different again.

Where now? A field. More cows, but not so many this time. This seemed like… Earth. And looking at the cars travelling past on the distant motorway, Earth circa 2015. Not only could these creatures travel through space, they could also travel through time!.

As he extracted one tentacle from the cow’s ignition socket and removed another from its dangly bits, he spotted a farmer gaping at him. Uh-oh. His race, a curious but timid people, had observed humans from a distance, but never gone too close to one. So he ran. As he did so, he pulled out a small telecommunications device and jabbed at a few buttons. A mothership would come and pick him up soon.

The farmer watched this peculiar being sprint away as fast as his tentacles could carry him, until he was out of sight. He approached the cow cautiously. ‘Moo,’ said the cow, threateningly. He felt he’d had enough for one day.

But the farmer came closer. He looked at the cow, then at where the alien had run off to. Had he imagined the whole thing? He didn’t think so. There was only one way to be sure. He bunched his hand into a fist, then slid his arm deep inside the cow’s anus. Then he reached down. Pull or twist, he thought, as the cow’s mooing grew more angry. Twist, he decided.



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