|Photo is pose by model cows - no cows were hurt in the writing of this blog post|
I believed Anna when she said there was only one field of cows to go through on our walk last Sunday near her house. Cows have never particularly scared me in the past but recent reports of people having been trampled has made me a tad wary.
So I stepped out happily from that first bovine field believing that was that. The cows in that field were lovely. They kept their heads down and grazed and most importantly kept well away. The wind was blowing through the hedgerows and Anna and I were chatting and I was mulling over some writing stuff in my head. A lovely Sunday stroll. We climbed a stile and came across yet more cows. These were even more laid back than the first, didn’t even flick an ear to notice our passing. We crossed their field avoiding the bog and clattered over a tiny wooden bridge across a brook into the next field.
The footpath signs were a little misleading at this point, I think they pointed diagonally across the field. Not a problem if a massive herd of, yes you are right, cows were not in the way. Anna and I decided to skirt the field, keeping a small copse of hazel and blackthorn on one side of a barbed wire fence to our right sides. The edge of the field was muddy, it sucked at our boots but the cows nearest us were happy. I kept my eyes ahead and stumbled on.
And then SHE caught sight of us. Even from a distance we could read her eyes. She lifted her head, stamped her back feet and then raced off to tell her friends. Suddenly every cow in the field was watching us. Anna and I sped up as much as you could in the mud. Then Devil Cow started to bring her gang round us. We were almost at the corner of the field. We would climb the fence into that field and get away.
It was a great plan. A stupendous plan, even until we saw the large, inquisitive herd of cows in the other field coming at a fast lick to find out what the fuss was about.
Anna and I stood at the point where the two fields and the copse met. Devil Cow’s eyes gleamed with malice as she slunk closer, her gang of bovine bullies behind her. Reinforcements from over the fence moved in tandem with them. We had one escape route. We took it. Anna swung her leg over the barbed wire fence and using whatever handholds there were dropped into the copse.
I could almost feel hot breath on my neck as I scrambled for the fence. Denim caught on the wire. They were coming to get me. They knew I was a city dweller pretending to be a country type. Anna was giving me sensible suggestions for where I should be putting my hands. Somehow I still ended up with scratches. And then I was over. We turned to see Devil Cow giving us the evils as she realised her plan had been thwarted. About twenty cows stood looking at us. A Mexican Standoff. Or so they thought
Anna and I smiled at each other, we were safe, for now. But how did we get home? We were off the footpath and in a small copse. I could see Anna’s eyes light up. I almost expected her to produce a machete and hack us a path. Instead we ducked and dived, unhooked hair from blackthorns and eventually found our way back to the little wooden bridge. We sat, legs dangling swigging whisky from a hip flask eating chocolate. We had survived the Attack of the Rabid Cows.
Fortified we were retracing our steps back to another path and were halfway across the field full of nice cows when I let out a yelp. Anna turned quickly, I think I saw a flash of the machete; she said she reacted quickly because she thought we were under attack again.
I turned to her and said.
“I think I know how I’m going to re-write the beginning of my book. There are these cows…”
Come back on Sunday to hear what Susanna has been up to (and hopefully she won't spill the beans about how much wine we drank on her one night in London)