A Boston Blickbild Exclusive
After Marcel Hirscher won in Soelden, he said that he was looking forward to the races in Levi so that he could visit and feed Ferdinand, the reindeer that he won last year. The question immediately arose....how will Marcel recognize Ferdinand? After all, it has been a year since Marcel won Ferdinand and reindeer can change a lot over that period of time. And how will he know that he really has the correct reindeer? Well, dear readers, you are in luck. One of our intrepid reporters scored an interview with one of Ferdinand's herders. He wanted to be called Matti for this interview. Let's find out what Matti has to say.
BB: How many reindeer do you have in your herd?
Matti: Right now we have 257.
BB: Marcel Hirscher's reindeer, Ferdinand, is in your herd. Is Mikaela Shiffrin's reindeer, Rudolph, also part of your herd?
Matti: Yes. It has been a real honor and privilege to take care of both Ferdinand and Rudolph.
BB: Have Marcel and Mikaela been logging in to your special website to see how their reindeer are doing?
Matti: Yes. They are both very interested in their reindeer, so they log in often. Not everyone gets to own a reindeer.
BB: That is true. The question that the ski world is asking is how do Mikaela and Marcel really know that they are seeing Ferdinand and Rudolph and not a different reindeer when they log into the website?
Matti: What do you mean?
BB: I have seen many photos of reindeer and they all look alike.
Matti: They do not all look alike! Every reindeer is different. You can tell your kids apart, can't you?
BB: Of course I can.
Matti: Well it is the same for me. My reindeer are my babies and I can easily tell them apart.
BB: So you don't have Ferdinand or Rudolph's names branded across their sides?
Matti: (horrified) No! Branding an animal is cruel. I would never do such a thing!
BB: You're right. What about tattooing their names on them instead?
Matti: That is even worse than branding. You could never get a reindeer to stay still long enough to get a tattoo, especially one with a long name like Ferdinand.
BB: Do they have their names stamped on them? That is much quicker than tattooing them.
Matti: No. How would we stamp a reindeer?
BB: With a very large stamp of course. You ought to know because you're a reindeer herder.
Matti: I never heard of reindeer being stamped.
BB: Do you color Ferdinand and Rudolph differently so that they are easy for Marcel and Mikaela to find on the website? For example, is Ferdinand blue and Rudolph red?
Matti: No. It would be very difficult to dye a reindeer. Anyway, I don't need to dye them because I know which ones are Ferdinand and Rudolph.
BB: Do you shave their names in their fur so it's easy for Marcel and Mikaela to spot them on the website?
Matti: No! We don't brand, tattoo, stamp, or dye our reindeer or shave their names in their fur. We leave our reindeer as nature created them.
BB: Do you put clothes on them, like a sweater or little booties, so that they are easy to identify? Or do you string colored lights on their antlers?
Matti: This is really getting ridiculous! No, all of our reindeer are naked and stay that way. They also don't have colored lights on their antlers. Where do you come up with this stuff?
BB: At the Blickbild, we ask the questions that the others don't dare to ask. (short pause) Let's say that Marcel and Mikaela win in Levi again. Will you give them different reindeer, or will you give them Ferdinand and Rudolph again because they probably won't notice the difference?
Matti: Of course they will get different reindeer. Just because you can't tell the difference between reindeer doesn't mean that Marcel or Mikaela will have the same problem.
BB: If someone else wins in Levi, will you give them Ferdinand and Rudolph?
Matti: No. They will get different reindeer.
BB: If Marcel or Mikaela don't win in a few weeks, you will now have four reindeer to keep track of. Won't that be difficult to keep track of which ski racer has which reindeer?
Matti: No. I can easily keep track of all of my reindeer.
BB: One more question. When Marcel and Mikaela visit their reindeer, can they be assured that they are seeing the real Ferdinand and Rudolph?
Matti: Of course. If I had all of my reindeer lined up, I could easily pick out which ones are Ferdinand and Rudolph.
BB: You didn't secretly sell Ferdinand and Rudolph to the Norwegians for ojlmsfjaegger* and will therefore show Marcel and Mikaela different reindeer when they come to visit?
Matti: Why would I sell any of my reindeer to the Norwegians? There are more than enough reindeer in Norway to supply the country with ojlmsfjaegger for many centuries. Marcel and Mikaela will definitely be visiting and feeding the proper reindeer.
BB: Let's hope so. That would cause a major scandal if Ferdinand and Rudolph have been turned into ojlmsfjaegger, or whatever reindeer dishes you eat in Finland, especially if Marcel and Mikaela really can pick out their reindeer from the rest of the herd. Well, it looks like we are out of time. I want to thank you for this enlightening interview. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.
* Oljmsfjaegger are cubes of pickled reindeer heart covered in a special smoked salmon and chocolate sauce that are eaten on birthdays in Norway.
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