The farm life is coming back to me. That or in my previous life I was either a fierce Zulu herdsman that at the sight of me, cows would run in terror or maybe a rugged Scottish warrior, charging the enemy like a wild and possessed animal! Hell, I could have been Brave Heart today!
It started on a quiet Sunday afternoon while my husband and I were sitting on the verandah, enjoying the peaceful farm setting of rolling green hills, fields of young maize and cattle grazing in the distance. Then we noticed one particular cow nudging at the barbed wire fence with an obvious determination. Her intention was not a ‘tick removal neck rub’ or to poke her head through the wire to chew the grass on the other side. No, her intention was to bulldoze the fence down with her brute force and then to call the 2 hundred or so other cattle to ‘come eat!’ The young green maize was like ‘Strawberries and Cream’ and the diet of grass, quite frankly, was so last year!
There was no time to call the owner of the cattle. All 200 cattle – frothing at the lips at the thought of young sweet carbohydrate maize– barged into the field, devouring an entire plant in one bite! My husband instinctively jumped up and started an impressive sprint towards the endangered field, kitted out with a pair of slops and his swimwear. He threw himself through the barbed wire fence with a near miss of the crowned jewels and charged the binging cows. They looked at him with that look that only a woman will understand. “Don’t worry ladies, I’ve got this. ‘Maize is on the menu’ and this lone man (snigger, snigger) will not be changing that! Let’s eat.”
My husband removed his slops and started smashing them together, attempting to frighten them with the loud noise while shouting at them in his gruffest, scariest voice. He then ran into a patch of Devil thorns and hopped around like an angry rooster, while the cows simply moved to the other side of the field, unperturbed.
I don’t know what it was exactly, but somewhere deep in my conscience, the ‘farm girl’ instinct kicked in – or the warrior from another life, I can’t be sure! I needed something to frighten the cattle out of the field, a menacing weapon of sorts. That’s when I grabbed the mop and with lightning speed followed suite, sprinting down towards the field and through the barbed wire fence. Only I got stuck, damn barbed wire! And after a harrowing 30 seconds, I managed to free myself, and then rolled into a ditch. It was quite impressive, really.
I charged – honestly believing I was unstoppable – mop swinging around my head like a sling while shouting and growling with a guttural like voice that not even I knew I possessed! I was on fire!!!
The cows looked up suspiciously, eyeballing ‘this crazy’ human being armed with some unrecognizable weapon, thundering towards them and shouting like she was Rob Roy’s wing woman!
Together, my husband and I operated like a slick pair of (and slightly wild looking) herdsmen! After a few grueling minutes with some good team work (shouting and growling in unison and with slops smashing and mops swinging) – we managed to get the cows out.
Unfortunately half the crop was lost in a matter of minutes, but on the bright side, if we ever lose our day jobs…
“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” – Sun Tzu, The art of war