The Game of Bull and Cow

The Controller had his farmer hat on.  He smiled at the appropriateness of the idea.  After all, it was human cattle he was dealing with.

The method was derived from stock breeding.  When a farmer wanted a bull to mate with a particular cow, it was first presented with a teaser – a female cow on heat to make sure that the bull would respond.  Then at the last minute the teaser was snatched away and the bull presented with the cow the farmer wished mated.

The Controller had a whole barn of teasers at his disposal.  But which would be most appropriate for his bull?

The bull was African.  Middle class, religious, totally respectable.  His problem was he was too intelligent.  Too dedicated.  Obviously a man who would go far given the chance.  It was up to the Controller to take that chance away.

The cow – well, she was a right, working class upstart.  Top grades, degree, sporting prowess, cultural interests – who did she think she was? The Controller looked at her file and winced.  If only half his recruits had half her intelligence.  But what she had she wasn’t entitled to.  Like the bull, she too had characteristics which were the property of the higher middle class.

These two would have to be put in their place – but hard.

He made his selection and set the game in motion.


Jack walked into the communal dining room and headed straight for the pool table.  He was burning with shame and seething with rage.  Six months earlier Samantha had come to the student hostel and for six months she had played him like  a harp.  A golden haired doll made out of bone china.  That woman had class! She had easily set aside his usual discrimination of people and their motives, and he was entranced by her beauty, and flattered by her attention which she lavished solely on him.  Then she had dumped him in public, making  a fool of him in front of his friends. His mind raged and his body ached with disappointment.

The only other person in the room, was the quiet, white girl, Tammy, sitting looking out on the garden.  Always good for a game of pool.  Perhaps she was game for other things too.  He had heard rumours but until now he had ignored them.

“Game of pool?” he grunted.

She nodded and selected a cue.

Jack smashed the balls savagely causing several to lift slightly off the table as they hit the cushion.  Tammy’s face remained impassive.  She took a sober shot and sank her target.  Then the second.  But snookered herself on the third shot.

Jack’s brain went into high gear.  He was damned if he was going to lose a game of pool on top of everything.  In short order he slammed down the next three balls.  Tammy continued to play impassively, ignoring his uncharacteristic passion.  Obviously she had noticed. She couldn’t very well not.  But that was Tammy.  The way she didn’t react to things in a femine way was very relaxing.  You could treat her like a bloke because she reacted like a bloke.

The game continued, Tammy playing calmly, Jack slamming the balls into the pockets like a madman.  He won leaving Tammy with two balls on the table. Then he put the cue down and stormed from the room.

Tammy nodded at his win and returned to the window.

Samantha, she thought. She had met cows like that before at grammar school.  Upper class girls leading men on then dumping them at the last minute, then having a laugh. Her respect for Jack went up several notches. She was too good for her. Women like Samantha were trash, whatever their social class credentials.