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Battle of the bull

K.T. Bugg
Riverside, Iowa

Roundin’ up cattle with the ole Ford is not a sport for sissies. The faint hearted need not apply.

One spring our cows had the roamin’ urge. What started as a minor irritation fast forwarded into a major hooraw. What made it major was that it persisted into Bean Planting Time! The herd had been fed hay all winter in the same pasture and was itchy for different scenery. They didn’t particularly care whether it was on our property or not. They became known Biblically as “The Cows on a Thousand Hills.”

There are neighbors and then there are neighbors. Some can put up with visiting cow herds, but others have moved to the country to escape crowds. Bovine-challenged gardening is not their idea of country bliss.

After several polite, and some not so polite, phone calls, we decided that the only safe place for these desperadoes was in the barn lot where the fences were a definite deterrent to their clandestine natures.

No matter how many times my husband, the Farmer, has tricked them into the barn, they still think “salt” when they hear his voice, so they usually respond. Trouble was, the bull was new to the routine. The cows would have filed right up to the barn, but the bull, young and feisty, wanted to show his authority. He stood smack in the gate and would not let his “harem” pass.

What a time wasting episode! Precious Bean Planting Time! Some healthy whacks across the bulls backside eventually sent a message to his brain, “Move out of the gate!”

Tempers were getting short. The cows were starting toward the barn when the bull again took charge. Every time the cows came to a certain spot in the field he’d swing around like a berserk Power Ranger and chase ’em back.

That was the final straw. The Farmer sprang to the pickup and yelled, “Get in!”

It was the battle of the bull. I could see his eyes beginning to bulge. He motioned me into the back where I scrambled onto a pile of sacked seed beans.

“Hang on!” he warned. I could see the back of his head through the rear window. His ears were red.

The next few minutes of my life seemed hours. I was certain they were my last. I don’t know that I had a chance to repent. The truck lunged forward throwing me onto my stomach. I latched onto the bean sacks and clung for dear life. I musta looked like the green ball headed for the side pocket at the hand of some pool shark. Those feed sacks ricocheted front to back, side to side, with me tryin’ to scream. We did hairpin turns, churning up grass. Dirt flew. We rocketed backwards and stopped on a pin point. Every time the truck hesitated, I ventured to lift my head to see where we were. Wham! We weren’t there anymore. From the accounts I’ve heard, the bull wasn’t havin’ fun anymore either.

The Farmer, was having a blast. By the sounds of his “WHOO HOO HOOS,” he was just getting into it. I couldn’t make a sound come from my paralyzed throat. He was banging on the side of the truck with his knuckles for extra effect. “YEE HAAW! Around and around we went.

At once, the truck stopped. The bull sulking, followed Grandma cow up the hill into the lot; his male ego traumatized. The Farmer, on the other hand had perked up considerably.

As I rose from a heap on the floor and congratulated myself for being alive, the Farmer gave me a puzzled look that only a real guy can master. “What happened to you?” he asked.


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