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Zombie cows

091112 Cows

From the time Jed was four months old, we have shared a ritual on the Outlaws’ farm in Oamaru. Around mid-afternoon, we stare down the goats in the first paddock, cross into the second paddock, walk through the third paddock, then on to the creek in the fourth paddock.

Two days ago, I noticed the livestock were loose in the third paddock.

“We won’t disturb the cows, will we?” I asked Husband.

In fact, I got the subjects confused. The question I should have posed was, “The cows won’t disturb us, will they?” One way or another, Husband would probably still have responded, “Nah, no worries.” In either case he would have been wrong, but in the second he would have willfully endangered our lives. So it’s just as well I didn’t pose the second question, because casting the lives of his wife and beloved dog into mortal peril?

That’s not nice.

Whenever I think about cows – which is not that often – my overall impressions are negative. They smell, they project effluence, they have freaky jaws. Otherwise, I have never harboured actively violent antipathy towards the bovine community. And I have never feared cows – until now.

Jed and I strolled down the first paddock, into the second, and passed into the third. At first I didn’t notice, because I had a squirming puppy by the collar. Jed has never been under any disillusion that cows are vicious, savage creatures. Personally, I’ve always thought they were just willfully stupid. I suppose the end result is much the same. But halfway across the field, I was alerted by a stealthy rustle of grass.

When I looked around, half the herd – or about 125 tonnes of beefsteak – had formed a semi-circle of doom behind us. Their cold, dead eyes stared glassily at me, chilling the cockles of my heart.

My mother is originally from farming stock, so I can speak a little pidgin Cow. “Gerraway back!” I bawled. Unfortunately, it appears Kiwi cows do not understand farming Irish. They retreated a pace, only to return two. One was trying to organize a mass flanking maneuver to cut off our escape entirely.

Well, I didn’t want to show fear, in case it started a stampede. However, I stepped up the pace a bit. One cow was rushing my puppy; Jed had a front paw through his collar, and his torso wasn’t far behind; he was desperate to get out of there, and I could fully sympathise. I felt the fermenting, fetid breath of 450 cows hot on the back of my neck.

I’m telling you, the last 200m felt like MILES. Any second I expected to get karate-chopped by a hoof in the head. I can’t tell you how many times I broke out in a cold sweat.

I returned to the farm via the road.


Comments on: "Zombie cows" (14)

  1. Cian said:

    That is a mean story! Bad Cows. But still I’m kind of sad that Husband was not watching with video camera in hand. Then again I am not sure that you would post it.

    Us Irish are so mean… (Did you see the Pat Kenny Video? – loved every second of it…)

    ps. loved the way you started off with “From the time Jed was four months old” – ah so many years ago eh?

    And you should look up Dexter cows – now they are gorgeous and so so cute…

  2. I had a similar experience in Scotland this summer. Bloody big beasts up close and you get the impression that they probably like a good trample.

  3. deadlyjelly said:

    Cian – Pat Kenny vid? What Pat Kenny vid? Can’t stand the bloke, so if it’s a horrid, evil video please provide a YouTube link IMMEDIATELY. Thanks.

    Ok, so I know the start was a bit ‘Long, long ago verily unto the mists of time’, but I honestly can’t remember LBJ. That’s Life Before Jed, not the 36th president of the united states.


  4. deadlyjelly said:

    Hi Lesley!

    You DO get that impression! You are so right; cows probably hang around all day just waiting for an opportunity to engage in a ‘good trample’. Can I temporarily adopt that expression? I will give it a good home, I promise.


  5. Oh DJ, you take me back to my own ruralised yoof. I remember being charged by a bull when I was blamelessly crossing his field, keeping strictly to the public footpath. Fortunately a kindly chance had laid on a selection of handy small trees nearby, in which it was easy to lose the aggressor. Bulls are not noted for their acute senses.

    I’ve spent the past week driving my mother around the North Island, and she kept complaining that the fields have too many cows in. That is to say, there’s not enough land per cow. They’re too cowded, you might say, if you had no fear for the wrath of a righteous providence. I think it’s because of the palm kernels our farmers are evilly and surreptitiously sneaking to the cows on the sly. But it might also make them more… tense. You know how crowds can be.

  6. Cian said:

    In good olde Kylie and Jason fashioon – especially for you…

    I knew you would love it – great minds think alike or fools seldom differ.

  7. deadlyjelly said:

    Vet – ‘cowded’? Ok, I think you need to fear for the wrath of a righteous providence 😀

    Thankfully I’ve never been chased by a bull, I imagine it’s pretty terrifying. The size of the bulls at the Royal Show were more in line with hippos. Mind you, they were so fat you can’t imagine them running that fast.


  8. deadlyjelly said:

    Cian – FANTASTIC! I love at the end, Pat Kenny (the greaser) saying ‘We give everyone a voice’, after yer man’s been escorted out of the building 😀


  9. Cian said:

    This one is not as good – but Jimmy Carr gets a good line in about his neighbours with whom he had a long standing legal battle.

  10. Cian said:

    Oh Holy God – it embedded the link and now I can see a massive Jimmy Carr head – this is not good…

  11. I tell you … one can’t die laughing with a mouthful of stolen nougat from husband’s desk but one can almost choke trying not to laugh while chewing huge mouthful of stolen nougat from husband’s desk … dammit.

  12. deadlyjelly said:

    Cian – who IS Jimmy Carr? He’s hilarious – although I imagine he gets tedious after 10 minutes, he never seems to shut up. Pat Kenny was never that entertaining in MY day – he’s upped his game.


  13. deadlyjelly said:

    Di – watch out for yourself on that deadly nougat; you have me worried now. Whatever you do, don’t go near caramel.


  14. Cian said:

    He is British Comedian who presents a few shows on Channel 4. His commedy is very much oneliners so it does get a bit tedious…. fine for 10 minutes as you say.

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