The Teacher and the Cow

Mom and Dad always told us it was important to have a sense of humor, and I agree.

But not everyone enjoys a sense of humor and not everyone has the same idea about what’s humorous.

I just happened to have a teacher in high school who didn’t share my own sense of humor.

She was a legendary teacher at Lexington High School – Miss Myrtie Harmon. She was there in the classroom for decades. In fact, she taught Mom and she taught me. I had her for biology.

Well, one day she asked how many teeth a cow has. No one answered.

She asked again. And again. And again.

Finally, Miss Myrtie said she hoped someone would find out.

The next day she asked again. And again, no one answered. She said she was certain someone must have a cow at home to check the number of teeth.

After one more exasperated request by Miss Myrtie and after enduring an uncomfortable silence for a while, I blurted out, “Well, my daddy calls my momma a cow.”

The class laughed. Miss Myrtie did not. In fact, she took me out in the hall, which was most definitely not a good thing.

By way of background, you should know that Mom’s name is Elsie. You know, as in Elsie the Cow. The Borden cow. And Miss Myrtie knew Mom’s name was Elsie.

Still, she found no humor in my comment.

She berated me. She said it would be awful and would damage my parents’ reputations if classmates went home and told their own parents that “Sherry’s daddy calls his wife a cow.” She also said Mom was one of the brightest students she had ever taught and such a comment was an insult to my mother.

After our “conversation” in the hall, Miss Myrtie Harmon put my desk in the corner of the room for the remainder of the six-week grading period.

And, to this day, I don’t know how many teeth a cow has.


1 comment:

The Retired One said...

What a smart woman she was to do that! Cute story!

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