The Curmudgeonly Professor lacked inspiration in how to deal with the eighth day of Christmas with the alleged horde of maids a milking. My friend the Wizard of Google offered me a scant 656,000 entries which took him (or her) 0.25 seconds to cough up, so you can see the Wizard could basically care less about a whole batch of maids running around and milking cows.
Speaking personally, the only milk I want to see comes in plastic bottles or paper cartons. I grew up helping my Dad milk cows every night. My lot was to milk Blondie and Blackie, the two tamest cows in the herd. Blackie, however, was our biggest producer and it took forever to finish. Dad, meanwhile, was milking cows like Old Red, the kicking maniac from Hades. Refreshing moments always occurred when, while sitting peacefully on my T-shaped milk stool which I made from 2 x 4 s, I would get a big whack with a manure covered tail in my face, or when the cows decided to spraddle and relieve themselves,so to speak. Since my homemade milking stools tended to fall apart or get broken, I had to make a steady number of replacements. Meanwhile, our herd of cats waited patiently for their free handouts, being part of the 47% who depend on freebies. But at least we never saw a mouse around the place.
I started college on a cold January day of 1950 at the University of Wyoming living in a student room in the hayloft of the sheep barn at the University stock farm and getting up at 4:30 several mornings a week to help the dairy herdsman milk the University milk cows. My job was usually to bring each group of cows into the milking parlor and brush them off with a curry brush and hope I didn't get whacked in the shin with an errant kick. On Saturdays, while my friends were all off having a really good time, I was scrubbing manure specks off the walls of the dairy parlor with a wire brush and freezing my hands and other exposed body parts. Thus, after one quarter of this glorious work, I graduated to becoming a student janitor for the remaining four years of my University career. I vowed never to get close enough to a cow the rest of my life to get whacked again, nor did I ever plan on milking one of the nasty beasts again.
What, you may ask, does all this reminiscing have to do with eight maids a milking in the Christmas song? Obviously, I didn't have much to say about eight maids a milking, nor did I care. Three cheers for anyone who wants to milk cows. Someone has to do it. My dad milked cows for years. Thus, some digression was ncessary to fill up the space in this post. A teacher at BYU once told a class one of my kids was in that a special place in Heaven awaits anyone who has ever milked cows. If you have ever milked a cow, you know whereof I speak. Anyway, the picture in the Twelve Days song is getting too crowded what with all the stupid birds yapping and the maids running around milking cows just so they can be part of the song. Hang on, things are going to get a whole lot more crowded.