Your knuckleheaded outdoor writer is at it again. A positive person by nature, I can quickly make chicken salad out of chicken poop, but I can also turn what should be a relatively simple chore into a disaster of biblical proportions. I really don’t know why I’m telling all of you this because there were no eye witnesses to the episode of which I’m about to speak. Suffice to say that honesty compels me to report it so you will always trust what I have to say in this space. So here and now I give you the sordid details.
The day started innocently enough. I was doing a good deed this week by cutting the grass along the road that leads to our house. Gonna weed-eat the whole section so that my friends and neighbors would not ostracize me from the inner circles of their society. Since I’ve been known to discharge firearms early on Saturday mornings, they often shun my attempts at camaraderie and cast nasty glances my way. I thought that my efforts at cutting the grass should put some salve on those wounds.
While whacking away at the weeds, I kept hearing a cow bellow. That is not uncommon since my neighbor has a small herd across the pond. This, however, was different. It was definitely a distressed member of the bovine family making these noises. Since I was already in a benevolent mood, I shut down the weed-eater and went over to investigate.
A young calf had somehow gotten on the outside of the pasture fence and mama didn’t like it. The calf wasn’t too crazy about it himself because mama’s milk was just a few feet away and he (it was a bull calf) couldn’t access it.
The little bull looked to weigh only about 100 pounds, and having had a vast amount of experience with calves in my younger years, I thought I could easily remedy the situation. I’d just go lift him up and put him through or over the fence. He was already hemmed up in a corner so it would make my job that much simpler.
There were, however two obstacles. First, he was in an area of thick brush which would make maneuvering him through the fence difficult. Second, his mom was in a highly agitated state. She was plenty big enough to come right through the fence and stomp me for harassing her baby. That second obstacle was a very realistic possibility as she was throwing a fit and snorting like a crazed rhino. I have had limited experience with crazed rhinos so there was some pause on my part at that point.
I stupidly decided to forge on into the breach so I crossed one fence and slowly approached the nervous little fella. I got my hands and arms under his neck and back legs, and started to lift him up. He was a little heavier than I had initially thought (or either my arm strength was somewhat less) but I did get him off the ground when he suddenly went into a frenzy somewhat akin to his mother. The ungrateful little snot kicked me four or five times on my shin and other lower extremities and sent me tumbling down on my backside in the brushy area previously described. The pain factor in my shin was hovering at around eight. As a side note, mother rhino was now actively trying to break down the fence to get at me.
Facing a wild-eyed cow, scratched up liberally, bleeding from numerous shin wounds, and with a wounded ego, I re-examined my options. The only one that made any sense was to head back and cut some more grass. With renewed determination, I got off the ground and tried to pick the little bull up again. He gave me the same treatment as before, and since the fence looked to be weakening from mama’s onslaught, I retreated.
Although I’ve not experienced running with the bulls of Pamplona, I have made the acquaintance of many angry bulls in a lot of pastures in my time, and I’ve always been able to escape unscathed. It’s pretty humiliating to be dropped and roundly thumped by a 100-pound calf in an enclosed arena. In boxing parlance, it would equate to a two-round technical knockout.
To top it all off, the resident nurse at my house displayed a total lack of bedside manner and thought the whole thing was extremely humorous. She did manage to bandage my bleeding leg but had no cure for my bruised and battered self image.
I’m swearing off good deeds that have anything to do with farm animals and may swear off good deeds altogether. Like they say, no good deed goes unpunished.
Alvin Richardson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.