In my introduction to The Camping Chronicles, I told you about waking up and finding a rather large cow trying to get inside the tent.
Today, I was chased out of the house by a cow.
It was particularly persistent in driving me towards the door, making all sorts of noises and fuss. Obviously, Cows know another cow when they see one. My star sign is Taurus, so that’s pretty close.
The fact that it was a yellow cow, squeaked rather than moo’ed and was the favoured toy of the moment probably explains it better. We were late getting started for our walk this morning, and so the cow was used to nudge, poke and prod us accordingly by her ladyship.
Now let me tell you about the bull.
One day early last year when we went for our walk in the woods, there was a notice up on the board ‘Lost, Cow’ and a mobile phone number.
Speaking to some of our regular walkers, we came to understand that a bull was on the loose. By all accounts, it had escaped from the trailer in the farm yard, legged it over to the woods and disappeared. Rather than worry people unnecessarily about the possibility of a large rampaging bull, as the animal was less than a year old, the owners were describing it as a cow.
As we progressed on our walk, we came across a group of ‘official looking’ people anxiously looking left and right. We decided to ask them for a description saying we’d keep a look out for it too (not that we could have done anything apart from put as many trees between it and us as possible) .
Our route that day took us along the bottom pathway, where we passed a truck with 4 people in it and a young stable girl walking out in front. As we turned the corner, we both noticed this rather magnificent animal in the field contentedly munching the grass, so I turned back and started to wave my arms about to attract the driver’s attention. I asked them if they had seen ‘the cow’ to which they replied No, so I told them they had just passed it.
The three passengers got out, and walking with me to where Hubby was standing, we pointed to the animal on the other side of the fence.
Sure enough, it was their escapee, so we left them to it and continued on our way.
An hour later, walking back to the car, we saw the same truck, same people, but no bull. Clever little sucker had given them the slip, so they were now posting sentries at each crossroads in the vain hope that someone would see it.
Little note here: no walkie talkies or mobile phones apparent so we were intrigued as to how they intended to contact each other if Bully-le-boeuf put in an appearance.
For several days thereafter, the sign remained up and we programmed the phone number into our mobile just in case. Other people said they’d seen it, but hadn’t let anyone know, probably because they didn’t have the number or a phone to hand.
It was about a week or so later that we took our walk in the afternoon instead of the morning, and nearly came face to face with it in a copse. Well, within 100 feet.
I phoned the number and asked if they were still missing one bull. When asked why, I said
‘Because I’m looking at it right now.’
‘Where are you exactly?’
so I gave them directions as to which path and track we were on from the car park side.
‘How does it look?’
‘Pretty good actually’.
‘Is it angry?’
‘I don’t think so. He’s just standing there and looks quite happy, in good condition and calm.’
‘OK. We’ll be with you in ten minutes’.
Sure enough, about eight minutes after we hung up, the bull disappeared back into the trees.
Two guys came ambling up the path and asked if it had been us that reported the sighting.
We noticed 2 important things.
They were on foot (no vehicle in sight)
They had no ropes or tranquilliser equipment.
I mean, it’s not like a dog you can call to heel is it?
Wondering how they intended to catch it without either, we walked back to the car watching them go off in the direction we had last seen the beast.
We heard a variety of stories over the next few weeks. Several people reported to have seen it, but as far as anyone knew, it was still loose and there were concerns now for public safety as it may well have turned feral having been living free for so long.
Meeting up with a couple of forestry guys some considerable time later, we asked about the bull and were told that the issue had been resolved.
The owners weren’t too worried as it was insured, but reading between the spoken lines, we think they didn’t capture it to take back to the farm for stud.
Note: We have not had steak for over a year.