I had a terrifying moment just now where I completely forgot what cows were. I was flipping through a magazine, and I came across a picture of a cow, and I just stared at it.
(Not this picture. This is just a picture of a cow, in case you too have forgotten what cows are.)
My first thought was, “Pig”. I looked desperately at it for a while, this weird pig, while my brain tried to come up with a better word.
"Deer?" My brain suggested, hopefully. No, deer was wrong, too.
I started to get angry. What was this fucking animal. Some kind of fucking pig deer. What the fuck is a pig deer. Why have I never seen one of these before. There was a picture of a whole herd of them. HOW CAN THERE BE SO MANY PIG DEERS AND YET I HAVE NEVER COME ACROSS ONE BEFORE. WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT IS A PIG DEER. HELP ME.
And then, right at the peak of my genuine panic and distress, I looked at the caption of the picture. And the word “cow” wafted through my mind and gently floated down to reconnect every experience I have ever had with a cow before. I relaxed. How could this cow have confused me. Of course I know what cows are.
I looked at the pig deer one last time. “Cows,” I thought, dismissively. “Huh. I eat those.” And then I went to put some laundry on.