No bull … well actually, yes, bull.

22 September, 2005 Ken Uncategorized

This is the truth, and the animals involved shall remain nameless to protect the innocent.

At the farm today, Deb asked me to take some photos of the cow calves with their camera. They were far out in the field, and I had been around them before, so I went through a gate and walked a few hundred feet out to them. As I looked at the camera, a couple of them rushed across the field for a moment. Apparently I startled a couple of them, a couple more eyeing me nervously. That’s what cows do.

One actually came to approach me by the time I was between the various clusters of cowns, and I thought it odd. I thought it was thinking I had food, but something didn’t seem right. A protective mother, maybe? I slowed stopped for a moment and stared it down. It stopped, and I walked within less than a dozen paces and it backed a little. Instead of startling it further, I would just walk away, but it seemed to follow along a bit, walking parallel to me.

Meanwhile, back in the barn …
“Does Ken know we have a bull?”
“I don’t know. Why?” responded Stewart’s wife, Debbie.
“He’s out there in the field with them.”

Screen wipes back to scene of Ken eyeing cow, noticing a tuft of fur under its belly, indicative of the male of some large mammals. At a distance (but closer than you’d think), Ken curiously eyes the leisure end of the animal.

At this point, I’m thinking, yeah, those look like balls, and it is clearly missing any semblance of a vagina and/or udders. Wouldn’t they have told me if there was a bull? They said they were getting one, but in the Spring. But my apparent observations explained its differing behavior and overall shape. No horns, but bigger and blacker than the rest of the cows.

I was a bit surprised at my heart being in my throat (I’m not known for being fearful of anything really), but I was also satisfied that it was perfectly contained by a clear focus and determination.

When it would come too close, I stared it down and took a slow step or two toward it until it backed down. My wife later informed me, praising God she is not at this moment a widow, that staring at such an animal is dangerously confrontational, but that’s what my instincts told me to do. Either that, or run like a sissy a half-thousand feet to the electric fence in wet clothing, hoping it would elicit a chase response. No, that is not a race I would want to run.

But then something else happened. As I was in the thick of the herd, the outer line of peripheral bovines I was approaching all lines up like a football team and headed in my direction. At a not-so-slow trot.

I found the closest one to me that had room to move and walked purposefully into its path. I didn’t want to get squeezed between them or run over by mistake. It was going to earn it. But of course, cows are wusses, so I got it to step aside, leaving an unambiguously clear way out of the crescent charging line. They all passed by me, and I circled the moving herd at a much wider berth than previously, and took a few last decent shots, before slowly making the hike back to the fence.

Stew and Deb didn’t seem concerned when I returned with my tale, and didn’t know I was unaware of the bull (and bull calf as well). Stew figured my survival was due to the bull being more occupied by the ladies than with little ole stranger me.

So Yes, folks, I stared down a bull. It gave me a certain manly pride afterward when I told my wife, but she wont let me forget about the intermingling of folly and luck that let me avoid a mauling.

Don’t do this at home, folks.

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