Barring her bobtail and more pronounced eyeshadows, Mahsuri (named after the Langkawian maiden with a gift for curses) could well have been a littermate of Angel's. She's much smaller and bonier though, but utters the same complaining wail when I try to cradle her. At the HQ of the Malaysian Nature Society in KL, she has a corner full of ballsy toys and when she wants out (or in), she makes her demand to the staff who open the door that divides her double domains.
A domesticated banteng cow (Bos javanicus). This is the native bovid of Java and Bali, a gracile cousin of the lumbering gaur or seladang, a brute of a beast that nearly rivals the extinct auroch in majesty. For some reason, the banteng is absent from Sumatra and Malaya, although it is recorded on Borneo and the Asiatic mainland as far as Burma and northern India, with three recognised subspecies: the Javan, the Bornean and the Burman (a third regional Bos species, the kouprey, is on the verge of extinction in its native Indochina).
Bull bantengs can be told apart from cows by the presence of ducks, but should this prove too tough a task, the boys can be distinguished by their nearly all black colour (and high back ridge in wild animals) whereas the cows are a light chestnut brown. Both sexes exhibit a white rump patch and stockings. Still sustainable though vulnerable populations of this cattle are said to exist in Java's national parks, while Bali's remaining pure wild population of about two dozen can be found only in the national park on the island's western tip. The animals encountered by the ricefields are a domesticated strain bred for the plow and plate (milk isn't a Balinese staple) and thought to harbour traces of Bos taurus, as the two species produce fertile hybrids.
This brown cow is also a pawn in man's misguided shuffling of biogeography, having established itself as a feral placental in Australia's Northern Territory, along with brumbies, dromedaries and water buffalos. The sad solution to this invasion, it seems, is one that marries bullets and bravado – trophy hunts in the name of marsupial integrity. No less a sport perhaps than a session with a baseball bat...
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I still haven't gone to the doctor. Erghh! My duck is doomed!!!
banked in some cheques. bugged the monkey to say 'hi' to hairen (she refused). bought roadmaps of Kuala Lumpur and Peninsular Malaysia. ordered catfood and kitty litter for Angel. had dinner with mrs budak (yay!). bought anti-dandruff shampoo. bought batteries for my duck.
Tomorrow, I shall: continue to bug the monkey. get a hair cut. (changed to Saturday) buy more batteries. get my glasses cleaned. (also ordered new pair of spectacles with funky duck colour) see the doctor. (Argh!! I forgot!! Now my duck will shrivel and die!!!) get some new rubber for my ducky. (two newflavours!)