When I was a little girl, I played in trees. Not a tree house (we never had one of those), but real trees. Long rows of trees that lined the yard and giant climbing trees that had perfect branches for a kid to fall out of. One day, I was climbing my favorite tree. It has a perfect seat in the bottom branch. And if you stood on the seat, then the branches almost formed ladder, just begging for you to climb it. I made it up to my super special really high spot, which was only about six feet off the ground, and I saw something strange.
Nestled into the crook of the branch was something hard and smooth. I brushed the dirt away and underneath, my new treasure was white. I had found a bone! I showed it to my mother, who has a master’s in archaeology, and she said it was a cow bone. There was a cow bone in my tree!
But how did the bone get there? I was fascinated! How did the cow climb the tree, and who killed it once it was up there? My mother said I should do my science fair project about my bone and animal bones in general. I made a project called “Bones in my Backyard,” and I think I won something for it. But I didn’t care. I needed to know how the cow got in the tree.
Finally, I had a stroke of inspiration. I knew the answer: the cow could fly. The cow had been flying through the yard and got its foot stuck on the branch. It couldn’t get down and then starved to death. As it decayed, all the bones fell away except for the stuck ankle bone. I was a genius! I had solved the mystery. And I learned that sometimes when you’re looking at a scientific problem, the simplest solution is the right one: it’s a flying cow.