REGINA Mayer's parents wouldn't buy her a pony.
But was she downhearted? Well, actually, yes she was. But she was resilient.
For months she worked on her relationship with Luna the cow on the family farm in Laufen, Germany.
And now she rides the world's only showjumping bovine that thinks it's a horse.
Luna will gallop like a colt and is capable of skipping over gymkhana obstacles with all the grace of a show pony.
And while we're on the subject of cows, Chinese scientists have successfully created genetically modified cattle that produce human milk.
Boffins at the Chinese Agricultural University introduced human genes into a herd of 300 dairy cows to give milk with the same properties as breast milk.
Fresh from the udders, it has the same mix of key nutrients that help boost the immune system of babies and reduce the risk of infections - perfect for mums who have trouble with their own milk and for babies who are bottle fed.
Staying in China, a judge is wrestling with a most unusual custody case in which neither of divorcing parents wants to be granted custody of their child.
This Kramer versus Kramer in reverse is taxing the wisdom of the judge in Beijing where the mother and father are bidding to pay off the other with a lump sum to take the four-year-old boy off their hands forever.
The mum claims she does not have the skills necessary to care for the child alone while the dad says he could lose his job if he had custody.
Maybe the judge should insist both parents are sterilised so they don't present the courts with any future dilemmas.
Meanwhile, the deadliest beauty queen in the world has been crowned in Recife, Brazil.
Convicted murderer Rebecca Rhyasa Suelen Guedesin was voted Miss Jail in a beauty pageant held within the reinforced walls of the state prison.
Twelve contestants were judged for beauty, general knowledge and their good behaviour record.
As well as a flimsy, glittery crown, Rebecca won a cash prize equivalent to about $1000 which has been deposited in her prison bank account.
And finally to FRance, where the locals know a thing or two about feminine beauty.
In the small town of Neuville-en-Ferrain, Mayor Gerard Cordon has controversially thrown out a patriotic statue of Marianne - the traditional embodiment of the French Republic.
Mayor Cordon said the terracotta bust was unsuitable because Marianne's breasts were too big.
Alternative Universe is a weekly humour column written by Adrian Taylor.