The Prize Cow

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March 29, 2004

A dramatized account of a dream I had last night…

Ellie Mae was the first girl ever chosen for the annual egg-spinning contest with the rival high school in her rural Kentucky town. And she wasn’t happy about it. The contest was supposedly based on some high-falutin’ math principles, which is why she — the smartest kid in years — was chosen to represent her school. But, she was smart enough to know that it was pretty much purely random; just trying to spin an egg so that it would line up with one edge of a square. Still, the prize was huge — a cow to the winning family, which was a big deal in this poor community.

If anything, that’s what made her seethe with anger, indignation and frustration.

Until her, no girl had ever been picked for a chance to win the cow. Supposedly the contestant was the ‘best qualified’ senior student, which was supposed to mean the cleverest, but somehow that had always been a boy. Until Ellie Mae showed up, who was so obviously over-qualified that they couldn’t help pick her. She could do the math well enough to know that only systematic bias would have prevented any girl from being chosen before.

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