Bulls and Cows

My mother broke her glasses today and was in dire need of “seeing,” but it being 11:30 on Saturday, and the office closing at 12:00, it seemed almost impossible that “seeing” was going to happen until Monday. A quick call to her Optometrist was rewarded with our needing to be in his office, by a few minutes of 12:00. While this was great news, it required some quick moving, to get it done. My mother lives in the country, on a farm, and on the way to pick her up, I kept noticing the cows. It seemed the more hurried I became, the more I noticed every cow I passed. I have no clue why this happened, but it did. I don’t remember paying attention to every cow I encountered in my entire life. In fact, I had tried to avoid all cows, as much as possible, since my pet calf became the meat on our dinner table, at about age five.

For some unforeseen reason, my fixating on the cows, in the fields, flooded my head with memories. I suddenly remembered getting the cows in from the fields for milking, and fearing the bull named Joanie (interesting name for a bull, seems he was named after a former owner named Jones). I remembered the time my brother was viciously attacked by a feral barn cat, while bottle feeding a calf (rabies test came back negative, just a crazy freaked-out cat wanting milk). And then there was the memory of the “herding of the bull.” My father asked my “city” husband and me to help him move a bull out of a field that was close to a neighbor heifer, that was “wanting a mate.” The bull had torn the fence down a couple of times, and was attempting to do so again. After being assured it would be a “piece of cake,” we went to help. My father placed us in certain positions in the field to herd the bull through the gate. He preceded to drive the bull to, and through, the gate. All was going as planned. The bull was bellowing, but obeying my father, leaving the lovely lady for a field on the opposite side of the farm. And then… I heard my husband’s voice, calling my name, but I could not find him anywhere. He was no longer standing where he had been placed. Finally, I saw him in the branches of a tree nearby. He was telling me to move, before the bull got there. Now, I had trusted my father all my life to keep me safe, and everything in me said to stay the course. I saw the bull racing toward the opening (which was also toward me), bellowing in an oppositional manner. I saw my father was definitely in control of the bull. I thought, “I’m safe”, and then my husband said, “You need to move, you know bulls react to red!” I looked down at my very red coat, and ran to a nearby fence and squirmed under, just as the bull got into my space. Seeing me gone, the bull turned and ran back to his love interest. I had caved in and let my wonderful father down. But, being wonderful, he saw the humor in my husband up the tree and me behind a fence. He initiated Plan B. With his truck, he could be the driver and the herder, and in short order the bull was in the desired field, away from lady love.

These memories, and others, consumed me as I noticed every cow, in every field. Why was I so mesmerized with the cows? And then I realized why. They were all gathered together in a circular pattern. Every cow, in every field, was in a group circle. Even though I had not internalized it, I was finding it somewhat creepy. Why, or what, was this phenomena? By the time I reached my mother’s house, I had witnessed at least six large groups of cows in loose huddles, in the center of fields. Suddenly, I had a theory! It was going to rain! I would say snow, but it was too warm. Or maybe a storm was coming. Surely, it was atmospheric, as all cows in the area seemed to be effected. And surely it was rain, not an earthquake, a tornado, or major disturbance! I was feeling a little like the girl in the red coat scooting under the fence, with a bull coming in full force toward me… controlled panic!

Well, my mother now “sees” again. I have calmed down. And… it did rain (as a matter fact it poured)! The cows knew it all along… wow, what a day!

Source: K. P. Guessen