Friday, February 12, 2010

The Bull Emerges

Yesterday, Joe got out of his paddock and roamed among the general population of cows. Joe, you see, is a bull and lives alone in a large, expansive paddock fenced off from the female cows of the farm. Since he entered these confines some nine months ago, he has never ventured out. By my choice, not by his own. Until yesterday.

I was up town doing errands, enjoying the sun. I rode my bicycle down the long driveway to the house and caught a glimpse as I passed the curve of a much different cow in the far pasture. The bovines are always in my vision, even if I am not aware of it. When one black cow was in the midst of the small herd of fawn colored cows, I knew something was wrong.

Joe was born with coloration very much the same as the others here. He had light brown, tan maybe even taupe colors. Nothing different or special or unique. As he grew older, however, his hide changed its colors. Now he is distinctly different: black. He is not solid black, like an angus cow, but rather highlighted with black. Even from three hundred feet away, he is different.

I left my bike by the side of the road and headed up pasture, through the gates, through the muddy low areas and up into the main pasture. In fact, there he was. And enjoying himself. Quite.

Thankfully food is the great motivator for animals. I returned to the barn for supplies. With a flake of hay I proceeded to lead the cow who he was the most interested in to the bull pen. Dinah 2.0 gladly went along with this plan. Sex is good and all, but food is better.

Joe followed his young amour back into his residence and enjoyed a bit of the extra hay as well, but his interests continued with the lady. I decided to keep her in the bull pen for the afternoon. She needs to be bred and I was happy to keep them together in that goal.

What was fascinating about this entire, predictable bovine story is not that the bull had an interest in the cows, but rather how it all came about. When I came up to the bull pen I realized just what had happened. Cows have a few skills, but the ability to back up or to grab anything and pull it toward them is not one of them. The gate of the paddock was pushed in as was the fence surrounding the enclosure. Joe simply walked out to the waiting ladies. He had nothing to do with the tearing down of the fencing nor the opening of the gate. Presumably Dinah 2.0 had pushed the gate in, pushed in the fencing, ripping the heavy, metal staples out of the fence posts. It was she that wanted to get to the man, not he trying to get out.

And so, on the eve of St. Valentine's day, I look at love a bit different. Or at least lust. I try not to judge what is truly going on. I like to be surprised. You never know who is pushing in the gate of love.

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