The Illiterate Cow
By Katie Ryan
One cow -born in the month of September and was now eleven years old- could not read.
His name was Archer. He had tried and tried, but he could not unlock the secret to
reading. Neither could Archer write. No matter what he did, he could not figure out
how to put words together nor build a sentence. The day after he turned eleven years
old, he decided to get help with reading. Archer was pretty sure he wouldn't give up this
time. His first stop was Kumon. He was dressed for success. Wearing a checkered shirt
and striped pants with slits down the sides, he stepped inside and sat at one of the
"I need help," said Archer.
"Yes, you do," replied the tutor distractedly.
"I don't know how to read," said Archer.
"Well, I don't know how I could help you," she said, "I'm a math tutor. This is a math
:Alright then, I guess I will be going now," concluded Archer as he left the room.
He was very embarrassed for not knowing it was a math class; but then again, it wasn't his
fault on account of his reading disability. Archer went walking along downtown Manhattan
until he found a shaded bench. There was a short man beside him, wearing a tan trench
coat and eating some cold spaghetti. This odd man also wore a golden earring on his left
"Excuse me sir, but could you please tell me where the nearest Sylvan Learning Center is?'
asked Archer hopefully.
"Ah yes, well, it's quite a ways. Le' me write it down for ye'," he replied cheerfully.
"Uh--" Archer tried to say as the man started walking away.
"'Ere ye' go lad," he said, "'Ave a nice day!"
"Oh dear," murmured Archer quietly to himself. The directions were written on a dirty
napkin. He was just as lost as he had started. Archer stepped onto the next bus.
It didn't matter where he went now, as far as he was concerned. From that moment on,
Archer decided it didn't really matter whether he could read or not. As long as he
could stay on the bus and the driver would take him were he wanted to go, he didn't
need to read or write. You can now find Archer either sleeping on the downtown Manhattan
bus or chewing on a furry glove.
Katie Ryan says, "I am certainly a cow fanatic. I love cows and am surrounded by them in
Santa Ynez Valley, California. A few years ago, I started writing stories
about bovines that have continuously amoosed my friends."