Blodgett was tempted to curl his lip, but he was still wearing a protective cotton dimity thing over his nose and mouth, so instead he nodded his assent.
â€œWe need to appoint a cow byre tsar,â€ announced the wonk, without preamble, â€œAnd your name has been put forward. There is a modest stipend and an armband. Congratulations.â€
â€œWhat does the job involve?â€ he asked, his booming voice only slightly muffled by the dimity thing.
â€œOh, you know, just go and hang around cow byres being sort of tsary,â€ replied the wonk.
What Blodgett was not told was that he was expected to send in daily reports, including the Latin names of the cows in each byre he fell upon, looming in his fierce Blodgettian way in the shadows. An added difficulty was that all the cows he visited seemed to twinkle, like stars in the heavens. His first report was sent back to him, his lovely handwriting virtually obliterated by comments and corrections scribbled with an impossibly thick black magic marker pen. Blodgett wept that night, huge convulsive sobs wracking his frame as he crouched next to the Ã¼berpod. His second and third reports fared no better, so he stopped sending them. And nothing happened. Each morning, as dawn broke, he would don his cow byre tsar armband and stride out towards yet another cow byre of twinkling cows, and loom, tsarily, for hours upon end, before returning home to his soup and his fireside. No word came from the wonk, for the wonk wed his sweetheart and fled to a city of curious puddles and gigantic towers of granite, and he never again thought much about cows, twinkling or otherwise. And after a few weeks, nor did Blodgett. He put his cow byre tsar armband on his pile of rags, and soon it was smeared with swarfega, just another Blodgett rag.
Postscript. Six months later, Blodgettâ€™s hut was crushed by a stampede of twinkling cows. He was out at the time.