This Photo Friday is a bit of a light-hearted one; it never fails to make me smile and feel a little uncomfortable at the same time! Let me explain…
Over the years my family and I have done many walks in the countryside in many parts of England and Wales as we had lots of camping holidays. We’d buy a book of circular walks, get the kids into the car, and off we would go. It introduced the kids to the countryside, and we all got some fresh air and some exercise. Plus, if I’m being brutally honest, it’s a cheap day out too!
When the kids were very little they would often either complain that they didn’t want to go, on the grounds that computer games are far more exciting, or they would just sulk the whole time we were out. But now, years later and the kids are all grown up, they have chosen to go on walking and camping holidays of their own free will with their friends and partners and they all love the great outdoors, so perhaps there’s a moral in there somewhere!
Anyway, even though I love going for a walk in the countryside, there is one thing about the rural life that I am totally terrified about.
I can’t help it; I know they don’t bite, or sting, and I know they don’t carry weapons. Despite all attempts at rational thought, I freeze whenever I see the route of the walk take us through a field that has cows in it. I used to start off by trying to persuade hubby that we should walk around the field so we avoid the cows altogether… but sometimes that’s just not possible. So then I find myself clamping on to hubby’s hand, and positioning myself behind him, so he is between me and the cows. My breath comes in short bursts and I feel the urge to walk really quickly to get away from them. I’ve even been known to walk quickly through a cow field, head down so as not to make eye contact with them, all the time muttering under my breath, “Oh God oh God oh God oh God…” while squeezing hubby’s hand so tight that he was in pain!
Naturally my family all found this hilarious and they teased me about it. In our house every cow was called a ‘Killer Cow’, an assassin trained in martial arts, sworn to hunt me down. I was the only one in our family that didn’t find that remotely funny!
This photograph was taken about three years ago while we were on a walk somewhere in Cornwall – we’d gone on a short camping trip there. It was a glorious day, lovely weather, great scenery, and I was really happy… until we rounded a corner and saw these girls! They completely changed my mood and we had to lengthen the walk by at least a mile because there was absolutely no way I could bring myself to walk up to these animals, who, as soon as they saw us, began to crowd around the stile that was the only entrance to the field.
So I put up with the family teasing me about what they called my irrational fear of Killer Cows until a couple of years later when hubby had taken himself off fishing. At the end of the day he was faced with a choice – he had a walk of about an hour to get home, carrying a lot of fishing gear, or he could take a shorter route that involved a walk across a cow field, and I would pick him up in the car at the far end of the field… so that’s what he did. I drove down to the field and leaned on the gate waiting for him.
Eventually he appeared in the distance, walking slowly under the weight of all that fishing gear. Without warning, one of the bigger cows stopped tugging at the grass and looked at him. Then another cow did the same. Then another…
Suddenly all three of them started to run at him – I mean, really galloping! They were all behind him but they were gaining on him rapidly. I shouted at the top of my voice, “Run! Run!” He heard the panic in my voice and the thundering of the hooves on the ground, and he didn’t need to be told twice. He ran towards me and the gate, knowing that was his only escape. I’d never seen him run so fast before, even though he was weighed down with his gear. The cows kept up the pace, and I could see the fear in his eyes…
After surprising me with a turn of speed that would do Usain Bolt proud, he then amazed me by throwing his gear over the locked gate and doing a vault over it in double quick speed that would have got a nine out of ten from the judges in an Olympic gymnastic event! He landed in a heap at my feet. His face was white. I won’t type out what he actually said but roughly translated he meant, “Goodness gracious me!”
And guess what? He’s not teased me about my fear of Killer Cows once since that day… because he now knows I was right all along!