Sept. 13 - After his mother left home for work, a Cambodian toddler began taking milk right from the family cow. Andrew Schmertz reports.
They say there is nothing better than your mother's milk. Unless, maybe, the milk is straight from a cow. A Cambodian toddler has his own idea when it comes to breast feeding, possibly believing 4 teats are better than two. Yes, you are seeing correctly, he sucks milk directly from his family's cow. His grandfather, Um Oeung, says he started a month ago after his parents left for work in Thailand. SOUNDBITE: GRANDFATHER OF BOY, UM OEUNG (KHMER) "One day I went to pick up the grass to feed my cows and he came with me. When he saw the calf was taking milk from his mother, he started to walk closer to the cow. I shouted to him to be careful that the cow might step on him. He stopped, but kept smiling at the cow. I went back to picking up grass for a while and when I turned back to him, I saw he'd grabbed the cow's udder, and was standing alongside the cow. I dropped what I was doing, and went to pull him away, but he cried. I said to him 'Why did you cry? Do you want to be a cow?' Then he went back to sucking the milk when I released him." The grandfather says he wants the 18 month old to stop suckling bovine milk because he's afraid the villagers will make fun of him. And one villager seems to agree. SOUNDBITE: VILLAGER, TRAK PHOAN (KHMER) "This is the first time that I've seen something like this, and it's funny to me. It made me laugh to see the boy suckling milk. In one hand he's holding the cow's leg, and the other he plays with the cow's udder, all while his mouth is suckling milk. That's funny to me." The cow, which feasts on a daily meal of grass, doesn't seem to mind-- and probably thinks the boy is just one of her calfs. Andrew Schmertz, Reuters