Tuesday, May 22, 2007


"Are the cows coming?"

I was half way over the ricketty gate, in a vulnerable position.

"No, they're still the other side of the hill."

"OK. Well, if they do come, and if that one with the horns is a bull, just save yourself. You're small and quick. I will distract them by flailing my arms about and getting trampled."

McColleague laughed, her eyes scanning the horizon as she calculated the sprinting distance between us and the next gate.

"I reckon we should be all right," she asserted.

McColleague and I had been on quite an adventure, exploring the estate on foot for the last four hours, through fields, woods, streams and parkland.

We found a little shelter in the woods.

It is where the community service kids have their base camp, brewing up tea over the fire when they are not clearing away fallen trees and maintaining the footpaths.

I particularly liked their sign over the door.

I am tempted to make it my own office.

We left the shelter behind us and moved on. We had a moment of indecision when faced with a herd of cows on the horizon. Should we walk through them, or go round on the other side of the hedge? We opted for the latter. As we walked up the hill we could see the cows on the other side of the hedge. They were only youngsters, half grown. We felt somewhat foolish. Turns out they weren't far away, they were just small.

We did a lot of clambering over stiles and fences. Eventually I managed to hurt myself on some barbed wire. "Watch out for the barbed wire," I said, giving my wound a lick.


I was too late. I untangled McColleague and compared injuries. Mine was worse.

OK, so it was just a scratch. McColleague swallowed a fly too. It was a survival type exercise, all right.

Home was in sight when we encountered the final field, the cattle thundering toward us, eager to see what the two humans were up to on the other side of the fence. "I think there is a bull in this field," I said. "That one's got horns, anyway."

We decided to try to find another way past, and stood for some time peering over the ricketty gate at the expanse of apparently cow-free field before us. "I think we'll definitely be all right, climbing over this," I stated, confidently.

And, as it turns out, we were, despite the fact the electric fence keeping them from us just stopped halfway along. I decided not to draw attention to that fact and just walked a little faster. "I really need some tea," I said. "Come on.


monica said...

tea? TEA? i would recommend gin for such trauma ... or at least a large glass of chilled and fruity pims

Reg Pither said...


You and McColleague are such girlies! They don't go for the throat, you know! As to your horrific injury - oh, perleeeaaase! You must have had worse on the soles of your feet treading on crunchy baby frogs!
Toughen up, Sparrow! How will you ever get used to shooting unwelcome visitiors on-site who ignore the "closed now, sorry" signs?

The National Rifle Association.

stitchwort said...

Actually, cattle with horns can be male or female - if they are a breed that has horns.
It's more the other end that tells you the gender of the animal.

Doris said...

Monica - no alcohol for me these days, I am still on my health kick!

Reg - you are bonkers. I like that.

Stitchwort - but checking out the other end rather involved getting past the end with horns. It is best to assume they are all hell bent on a good goring, and avoid both ends.