I agree with you. Try also the Welsh course and its many sentences about Owen and his parsnips. Some are truly enlightening!
This whole section is made up of either meaningless sentences or drunken violence against parrots and cooks.
If word order is not fixed, could this also be "the deceitful old men count the boys"?
No, because that would be: Senes perfidi pueros numerant. The only ambiguity in the sentence is the word “senes” because, in the plural, it is identical as both subject and object. (Here it is the object.) Roman writers generally resolved ambiguity with word order, as in the sentence we are discussing: subject-object-verb.
Thanks, I think I am still mostly blind to the case endings. I will try not to play too free and loose with word order til I can internalize that
The latin word order is not fixed because the case endings make the meaning clear. The English word order is fairly fixed, at least comparatively.