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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 50. ‘Dances with bulls’
It was a glorious sunny day, as nine year old me rode with my Father to the neighbour’s property some ten kilometres away. We’d come to fill water barrels as the summer had taken a toll on our tank only farm. Leaning against the shiny black door of my Father’s beloved classic car, a Humber Super Snipe, I watched him unload the containers from the attached trailer.
A half dozen large black units would hopefully see us through until it rained. Our host hailed my Father for coffee, and I was left in charge of moving the hose from one tank hole to the next. With the job almost done, I proudly took the initiative to gather more of the precious commodity by flipping the petrol cap on the next shiny black container. Some moments later my Father came tearing out in a flurry of arms and legs, yelling, “what are you doing!” His red-faced demeanor suggested I had done a bad bad thing. Opting for flight and not discussion, I took off over the pile of push bikes that had been left scattered in the driveway and headed full steam for the cow paddocks. Hastily glancing over my shoulder, I spied my father in hot pursuit. I watched long enough to see him catch his foot on the pile of bikes and face plant the ground with considerable force. This did nothing to allay my fears of ‘I’m in big big trouble.’ In the distance lay refuge in the tall brown grass, I just had to clear this rickety barbed wire fence. Diving headfirst between the strands, I thought I was in the clear until my backside caught on the sharp pointy bit! My gazelle-like move abruptly terminated, I fell face first into a pile of cow dung. With a stinging butt, and a face full of gross, I resigned myself to my fate and lay there defeated. In the distance, I could still hear my Father’s roar, just a little more panic than anger now. Moving ever closer I heard, “get up, get up, get up.” With a renewed sense of nervousness, I rubbed my eyes clear of the yukky and found myself nose to nose with the biggest bull I had ever seen. He exhaled his rancid hot breath all over my terrified face, as he quite calculatingly sized me up. Backing up a few feet and hooves pawing at the ground, his intentions were made perfectly clear. My Father, almost upon me at this point screamed, “run!” as ‘Bullmania’ lowered his horns and commenced descent. A pitiful roll was all I could manage, as his horn scraped down the length of my right arm and hand. (I still have a tiny war scar to this day) I should have returned through the fence, but in my alarm, started running toward the trees some BILLIONS of metres away. I could hear his massive feet churning the ground behind me as he summoned the herd with his righteous war cry. Cows from every corner answered the call, and the stampede toward me was surely not something I would survive. In my peripheral vision, a shiny ute kicked up dust in its wake as frantic hands tossed bales of hay to the ground. The collective “oooo food” was almost audible as the mob lost interest in me and clamored to be first in line. Bullmania was the last to retreat, with a look over his shoulder, “and don’t come back.” Many hours later, after the car had dried out, we made the silent trip home. Breaking the standoff, my Father finally grunted, “you could have stuffed the Humber completely!” I countered with an equally defiant grunt. ” You chased me into a paddock of killer cows!” More silence, but as we turned into our home’s driveway, a truce was reached when we simultaneously said, “just don’t tell Mum.”
Thanks for listening.