Wednesday, 12 September 2007

The Mischievious Reddish-Brown Bullock

Whilst my husband (H) and I were out walking at the weekend, we found that the track was leading us across a large field, through the middle of a herd of about 30 cows. Each head slowly turned towards us, as we approached, and I suddenly realised that they were most probably, not cows, but bullocks. I was quite relieved, when those to the left of the path ran away from us, until I realised that they had joined up with the rest of the herd, so that they could all trot along behind us.

The bullocks stayed with us, as we veered to the left, after spotting the gate we needed to get into the next field. H stopped, periodically, to shoo them away, but they only galloped around to re-form, and trot behind us again. He lagged behind, so that they were not too close to me, calling, at one point, "Look, I've got a little friend!" I glanced, quickly, over my shoulder, to glimpse H smiling, as a reddish-brown bullock trotted at his heels. I could have sworn that the bullock was smiling, too. At that stage, if I had thought it possible to outrun them, I would have made an attempt.

I stumbled over the uneven ground, walking progressively faster, towards the gate. H walked faster, too, but only to keep up with me, apparently, as he insisted later. The bullocks also increased their pace. I fumbled with the catch, when we finally reached the gate, but was unable to open it, as the grass was too high. H tore open the gate, and I leapt through into the neighbouring field, only to shriek, as my trainers were sucked into the mud.

I struggled to find some firm ground, and keep my trainers on my feet, as H fastened the gate behind us, and consulted the map. I took a few paces forward, into the waterlogged field, as the bullocks jostled with each other to get closer to the fence, and the reddish-brown one manoeuvred into position behind me. His nose was inches from my back, and I didn't need to turn to know that he was still smiling. H looked back, frowning, into the field behind us, and I suddenly found my voice. "I'm not going back into that field," I said quickly.

Eventually, after skirting a very overgrown piece of ground, and crossing a rickety bridge over a stream, we spotted the next landmark. The bullocks watched, as we slowly disappeared from view. I couldn't bring myself to look, but H turned around so many times, I eventually found myself asking "They haven't found a way through, have they?"

"Were we getting a little bit apprehensive, back there?" he said, grinning.

Later, in the pub', I admitted that 'we' were terrified. We burst into helpless laughter, startling the locals considerably, as I confessed that I would rather have crawled, on my hands and knees, over a dozen waterlogged, overgrown fields, than have faced those bullocks again. "Well, we survived," said H. "The only downside is that I've lost my sunglasses."

"I know where they will be," I said instantly. "That reddish-brown bullock will be wearing them!"

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