I don't normally bring my work life into the blogosphere, but yesterday was a bit of a treat.
I was called to the front desk to identify a skull for a couple, so reference book in hand up I went. I didn't need the book though because the large skull was clearly from a cow. The reason I say clearly is because I have many of them in the back because they are frequently, and rightly so, mistaken for moose skulls. I tried to break the news gently.
Me: " hi! That is a really nice skull you found, it is a cow skull."
Me: "I mean a moo cow skull not a moose cow skull."
Couple: "No, it can't be a cow, why would there be a cow in the middle of the woods?" ( the wife has her eyes narrowed at me and the fella is very skeptical)
Me: "Well bear hunters and coyote hunters place carcasses and parts when they are hunting and those parts end up being brought to the office to be identified. I have several cow and pig skulls as references, I will go get some." (I trot to the back and bring out a cow skull and a young bull moose skull I have that only has one antler.)
Wife: "That can't be a moose, it only has one small antler!"
Me: "It is a yearling bull moose and he lost an antler in the altercation that allowed me to have his skull."
Wife: " It doesn't look any different from the skull WE brought in."
Me: "Let's look at the dentition. Cows have very flat grinding surfaces on their teeth while moose have somewhat sharper cusps. Also, the top of the skull is considerably narrower on a moose as is the back of the skull. You can see that your skull is almost identical to the cow skull that I have and different from the moose skull here in these ways."
Wife: "Well it looks the same to me!"
Me: " Erm....."
Wife: (eyes narrowed to tiny slits) "Do you know any Wiccan witches? I'll bet THEY can tell you how that skull got into the woods!"
Me: (incredulously maintaining my decorum) "Ma'am, I think I'd bet on the hunters."
The couple left muttering, utterly unconvinced of my scientific prowess. I am left one bovine skull richer and the idea that any Wiccans in the greater Luce County area (population 5,000) are about to be discovered by this couple.
p.s. the moose skull is on top and the skull they brought me on the bottom. Another cow skull is sandwiched in between. You be the judge!