The problem with excitement charging into your life is that it doesn’t leave a lot of time to aim your camera at it. Fortunately for you folks, I have created like-accurate photo representations of the exhilarating event with the aid of an actual photo of the post-event scene and my handy computer paint program.
You’d never know these weren’t actual photographs.
The cattle were grazing in a field a little way down from my house when I left to go back to school after lunch yesterday. Except for one irritated bull, who was tied to a bush.
Actually, it wasn’t clear whether he’d been deliberately tied to a bush or whether he’d accidentally become tangled in the bush and a fallen-down wire fence.
His irritation was clear, however. The cowboys (that is, the young teenage boys attempting to handle the cow) who were attending him were giving him a wide berth, and so I did as well.
I said, “Good afternoon” to the boys, and we chatted briefly about how their cow seemed to be annoyed. Apparently his herd of lady cows had moved on without him and were grazing in the next field, visible from his current unfortunate location. One boy got chatty, but I was on my way to school, so I excused myself and continued walking on down the road.
I don’t know why I turned around.
But I did—just in time to see the very angry animal, free from the rope that had bound him, galloping down the road behind me. I was unfortunately between him and his lady cows, and though I wanted very much to get out of his way, I didn’t know how. He was charging in a roughly straight-ish line, with only little starts this way and that, but it wasn’t clear to me exactly the path he was planning to take, see, and it seemed to be a bad idea to run.
So I didn’t. I just stood on the path, trying to appear non-threatening and inconspicuous, while he came barreling toward me.
And instead of going around me like a decent, co-inhabitant of the earth, he planted his feet and, with one terrible horn on each side of my body, bashed his rock-hard head into the side of me with that smash-and-lift, fork-scooping motion that bulls do.
When you are the person flying through the air, it is impossible to estimate how much air you actually got. On the other hand, once both your feet actually leave the ground, does it really matter how high you were?
I landed in some weeds and grass just off the side of the road, and the bull rushed on past to rejoin his herd. The cowboys said, “Sorry.”
My skirt was up, of course, but I was otherwise surprisingly unhurt. I realized almost immediately that skirts are supposed to be down, and I adjusted mine accordingly.
“You were charged by a raging bull?” my sister asked later when I’d called her on the phone, after a hot shower and a cup of tea.
Yes. Yes, I was.
I have a 4” welt that is tender but not discolored (yet?) on the outside of my upper thigh where the bull’s head impacted, and my body feels generally disgruntled, probably from crashing to the earth. But otherwise I’m feeling mostly fine.
I wasn’t even apprehensive about walking to school again today, lest I meet my new nemesis again on the road. If your livestock had mowed down one of the neighbors and knocked her into a field yesterday, would you bring your cows back to graze in the same spot all that soon?
Neither would these guys.