|Copyright 2006 Molly S.
I officially know now that I live in the country. I came home from my seasonal wage slave job last night to a strange lump in my yard. Since I have no trees in that particular area, I maneuvered the truck into the turnaround, hoping to get a glimpse of what the lump really was. As the headlights swung onto the nether regions of the beast in the yard, I thought to myself, "Self, that is the biggest friggin' deer I have ever seen in my life!"
I quickly altered my opinion when I realized that the "deer" had horns, one on each side of its head, each as long as my arm. Then it occurred to me - this had to be a Highland cow. (Or "hairy coo" as they say in Scotland.) Yes indeed, our neighbor (who happens to be a farmer) raises Highland cattle. And I've seen them from a distance. But I had no idea how big they really were until one was standing in my yard, oh so very late at night. To top it off, both boy and girl Highland cows have horns. And hair down to their knees. So I decided to err on the side of extreme caution - did I mention the two horns, each as long as my arm?? - and find the farmer to let him know his livestock was loose.
Except that there are several houses near us, and I didn't actually know which house the farmer lived in. So at 1145 at night, (moon behind clouds, and you ALL know how much I love the dark!) I buttoned on my courage, buttoned up my coat, and began to head toward the nearest house with lights still on. (The cow, by the way, was by this time scoping out our apple trees in the backyard. Or at least I think that's where it went. Loud crashings and munchings were coming from the vicinity of the apple trees, and I can only assume that there weren't multiple large lumpy beasts prowling around my yard.)
After I reached the house with the lights still on, I spent several minutes in tense negotiations with the little old man who lives there. He was trying to ascertain that I was not planning on robbing, raping, or committing mayhem to either himself or his property before opening the door. After figuring out that all I really wanted from him was directions to the farmer's house, he pointed me to a house approximately 2/10 mile up the road. By this time, visions of getting plastered across the concrete are flying through my head as I hoiked my way down the road (no moon, no streetlights) to the extremely dark house (no lights on inside or outside) where the farmer supposedly lives.
After five minutes of muffled banging on his door, and muffled curses under my breath at how cold it is, the farmer came to the door and turned on a porch light the equivalent of a police search light, and groggily asked me what I wanted. I explained that I thought some of his cows were uh, on the lam(b) so to speak, as at least one watched my arrival home from work. He gave me a half smile that spoke volumes (something along the line of "While I appreciate you waking me up to tell me that my cows were loose, I really wish that it wasn't 20 degrees out and late at night.") I walked back the lonely stretch of road, hoping not to run into a cow, and hoping that a car didn't run into me. Such is the exciting life of the country dweller. Worst of all, it only occurred to me on the cold walk home that I forgot to ask Farmer Jim? John? how to tell the difference between a boy Highland cow and a girl Highland cow from 20 paces in the dark...
My husband's opinion of the whole story? I should have jumped the stone fence with the truck and called the butcher.
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