Tag Archives: vikings

Bovine rampage in Norway: Revenge of the Beef

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In 2002, a series of bizzare bovine incidents in the Norweigian countryside alarmed residents, and alerted us to the  possibility that cows are beginning to strain at the agricultural tether.

The first victim, 23-year old Stian Skoglund, was “bashed and trampled by a furious cud-chewer” according to one publication.  

The incident occurred when Skoglond noticed that one of the cows he was attempting to gather for milking appeared “uneasy.” Apparently under the delusion that he had psychic animal powers, Skoglond “made eye contact with the animal” and “tried to calm it.” Unsurprisingly, the cow “became provoked:”

 “The cow butted me and I fell,” Skoglund reported. Frightened, our failed animal mesmerist scrambled to his feet and tried to make a dash for it, but the cow, undettered, knocked him to the ground. Pleased with her work, she then began—according to the same  Norwegian  English- language publication—to  “hop and trample him,” ceasing only when her victim gave up the fight and played dead.

Skoglund suffered a shattered leg, several broken ribs, numerous lacerations, and multiple contusions. He later wondered whether the attack was done in retaliation for his part in hauling away the body of a calf that had died days earlier.

“Maybe,” quoth our budding animal psychologist, “it was her motherly instincts being aroused. I’ve also heard that I shouldn’t have made eye contact with her, that only provokes them.”  

No shit, Stian.

Other incidents include a 45-year-old farmer who was hospitalized after a cow charged his wife (The farmer found himself in this unfortunate position after he attempted to wave his arms and distract the cow from its attack on his wife), and a nearby farmer who was trampled to death by rampaging bulls.

But by far the most shocking occurrence, dear readers, was the incident of the cow who fell  from the sky and died, nearly taking a car full of Norwegian travellers with her.

The story begins like a joke, with four men traveling in a car and debating the source of “a large shadow in the sky.” Was it a bird? No. a plane? No. nor was it a caped adventurer. It fell to earth with a mighty thump, mere feet in front of the moving vehicle.

Driver Olav Kjeldstad reported that, having barely managed to avoid hitting the mysterious object, he stopped the car and he and his three passengers looked behind them to where a cow lay in the road; according to one passenger, the fallen bovidae bovinae “only managed a few moos before dying.”

Kjelstad admitted that he “was pretty shaken afterwards” but also admitted– with typical Norse pragmatism and an inborn appreciation for dramatic subgenre–  that “we had a laugh as well;” the entire situation, he said, “was tragicomic.”

Perhaps  Kjelstad should have loaned his well-thumbed Companion to Norse Drama to poor Stian Skoglund,  upon whom the subtleties of tragicomedy were clearly lost.

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Filed under human behavior, Phobia-inducing, the strange and the beautiful, Uncategorized

“Viking Kittens iz Where its at” Indeed.

 

It is difficult to resist the lure of a theme. and the lure of the “crazy/cute/creepy cat video” theme is best compared, dear reader(s), to crack cocaine.

While naysayers (and I have one particular naysayer in mind, who will likely never read this post) might complain that “[he] hate[s] cats. And hates people who take pictures of their cats “in stuff.”” Even he has been known on occasion to succumb to the lure of a well-made kitty vid.

And this one, oh my darlings, is something that must be experienced to be believed. This is Viking Kittens, on their way to Valhalla… set to music of the Led Zepplin variety.

Follow the link below. Enjoy. 

http://www.dennyweb.com/viking_kittens.htm

 

NB: 

I have no remorse for posting this.  You may direct any and all complaints about refrains subsequently floating unbidden through your mind to  

 http://cinnabari.livejournal.com/

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Filed under baby animals, common household pets, exceedingly cute, extinct species, human behavior, medieval, Phobia-inducing, the strange and the beautiful

NARWHAL: ONE- HORNY WHALE

The Narwhal is subject to regulated subsistence hunting by Inuit people in Northern Canada and Greenland. Narwhals were once hunted by Vikings, who prized both the meat and horns; narwhals were thought to be related to unicorns, and to have magical powers-- their horns were thus worth more their weight in gold.

Narwhals were once hunted by Vikings, who prized both the meat and horns; in the medieval period, people thought narwhals to be related to unicorns, and to have magical powers-- Narwhal horns were thus worth more than their weight in gold. The Narwhal population is stable today.

 The exquisite narwhal (Monodon monoceros), is a medium-sized arctic whale; it’s common name is Old Norse for “Corpse whale,” perhaps named for it’s habit of swimming belly-up for short durations.  Charming.

This morbidly named whale’s most notable feature is it’s “horn,” actually a very long tooth seen only on males. In point of fcat narwhals only have two teeth, but to make up for this dearth of dentibus,  the left tooth grows in a spiral out of the mouth, reaching lengths as impressive as 7-10 feet. The function of this horn (and why it is only the left tooth) is the source  of much speculation; the dominant theory is an old one, first offered by Chuck Darwin himself, who hypothesizes that the horn is a secondary sex characteristic, like a peacock’s feather’s or a human male’s automobile, and is likewise used in mating and male-dominance rituals.

One can only assume that narwhals hear a lot of “are you just happy to see me” jokes. 

Cf. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/narwhal.html
      http://acsonline.org/factpack/Narwhal.htm

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Filed under marine life, the strange and the beautiful