Running With the Bulls (or in my case, Heifers)

| 6/24/2011 9:32:05 AM

Tags: Highland cattle, Cam Mather,

Many people have to fly to Spain to risk life and limb and run with the bulls. I get to do right in my own backyard. And in the dark at that! And while for me it’s actually running with the heifers, when you check out the horns on these Highland cows I don’t think the gender matters if you get gored.

Last Thursday night our neighbor Alyce brought “Aggie” over to board with “Betsy” in our paddock. Both cows were pregnant and she thought it might be nice to have the mothers and babies away from the main herd. Not a bad idea when you see how big these animals are and how they flail those horns around while swatting flies like a veritable bull in a china shop, but with razor-sharp human-impaling swords on their heads.

sharp horns 

I’ve always been a morning person, liking to tackle the big jobs fairly early in the day, but Alyce goes and goes all day long and is often still going as dusk turns into night. At this time of the year I’m usually awake by about 5 a.m. and in the garden by 6 a.m. and so 9:30 p.m. is when I’m usually heading off to bed. To say I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed at this time of night is an understatement.

In June at this time of the year the one place NOT to be if you want to avoid mosquitoes is outside at dusk. There are none to be seen in the daylight hours, but they descend at dusk. I’m grateful they don’t carry West Nile virus or I’d have been in hospital by Saturday morning.

As Alyce backed the trailer up to the gate, it was Ken and my responsibility to direct her back and get the gates and trailer doors open at the requisite time. Well, officially it’s Ken’s responsibility. I’m just a naive onlooker. They are the cattle wranglers. I believe Alyce’s herd is close to 20 now so they have the experience. I’m just a spectator.

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