Monday, May 20, 2013

Driving Cattle and Other Things I Do on My Days Off

It all started innocently enough.  I was tooling down the back roads of Kentucky on my way to my writers group meeting.  It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, and I will be honest.  I was gawking at scenes like this one.

Or like these ... 




There was one particular creek that I was captivated by, and I really wished I'd gotten a photo of it.  But, see, here in Kentucky, things aren't like they are in other states. 

You know.  Straight roads.

Appropriate widths for road shoulders.

Or, if we want to be really picky, appropriate widths for roads, period.

A bridge can actually be nothing more than a beefed up wooden deal that is somehow fashioned on a curve.  Not even joking. 

Curved bridges!  I'd never laid eyes upon such architectural feats until I moved here.

Such was the case with the particular bridge I was crossing when I spied an amazing limestone falls where the creek was trickling down in sun-dappled brilliance.  It was breathtaking, and I slowed down to take it in.

Good thing I did.

As I looked up to continue to make the curve, I was face to face with a bull!

Again, I am not even joking. 

You think I am, don't you? 

I knew he was a bull because he had a ring in his nose -- who knew they still did that!? -- and he had big ... well ... he was a bull, and he was being accompanied by a rather confused female cow. 

I suppose they thought they were on a lovely Sunday afternoon stroll down the lane, just a boy and his gal, and dag gone it, if they weren't interrupted by this big, red truck. 

It was one of those surreal moments where I just sat in my truck in the middle of the road and thought, "I need to post this to Facebook, because no one is going to believe me!" 

I mean, isn't that what everyone does?



By the time I'd snapped this photo, he was sort of over me staring at him, and I suppose he told his gal, "Come on!  We're blowing this Popsicle stand!"  Because down the road they went ... at an ambling pace, mind you. 




Meanwhile, back at a ranch ... just up the road, stood a neighbor watching the whole thing transpire.  At this point, there were three motorcyclists behind me, and I knew that if this bull decided to charge (and he kept giving me sideways glances that were none to friendly, folks), I would have a better chance at surviving said charge than the poor Harley Dudes behind me. 

You know, it's funny what pops into a person's head when they are in the midst of a cattle crisis.  For instance, on this particular sunny afternoon, I was reminded of a story by friends that had, at one time, lived in Greeley, Colorado.  Apparently, up until recent history, cowboys drove cattle down the middle of town.  Just like that. During cattle driving season. 

Now, I am not well versed on when and if there is a cattle driving season here in Kentucky, but having also read a lot of The Pioneer Woman's blog, I had a pretty good idea of how I needed to get this bull to a spot where I, and the line of traffic now backing up behind me, could safely pass. 

So, I placed my pick up truck squarely in the middle of the road, and I drove that stubborn bull down the middle of the road to the drive that you see on his right.


Then I proceeded to call two friends and leave the following messages on both voice mails:  "Hey!  Just calling to chat.  Wanted to let you know that I just wrangled a bull.  Yeah, I'm good like that.  Just another day in the life down here in Kentucky. So call me sometime."

I was late to my writers group meeting, and as I am sure you would have been, I was both shocked and dismayed when everyone gave me The Look following my, "Hi!  Sorry I'm late.  I got caught wrangling a bull down on Devil's Hollow Road."



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