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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Curiosity of youth.

While I was fishing at Grantchester yesterday, I heard the clatter of little hoofs behind me. I looked and saw a whole bunch of calves galloping down the hill behind me, for a moment I thought they were going to run right over me and into the water. At the last moment they swerved and ended up under some pin oaks to my right, where they stopped, butting each other and kicking their back legs in the air, full of the joy's of spring.

Moments later I heard more hooves, this time their mothers were galloping down the hill in hot pursuit of their offspring. They also swerved at the last moment, and joined the calves under the trees, entered the water and started drinking. Just as I thought I was safe a lone cow came galloping down the hill, (45 degree slope) straight at me. I was just considering the option of jumping into the water to escape certain death, when she made a couple of sharp zig zags to the right and left and came to a stop with her legs splayed out, about 2 meters from me. The cow was panting from her run and then had quite a coughing fit. If cows could look embarrassed, I'm sure she looked embarrassed. ("Not quite as fit as I used to be, motherhood sure takes it out of you").

The whole lot of them must have stood on the top of the hill watching me and decided, "let's give that old man down there the fright of his life!" Well they almost succeeded, it was very close.

The cows drank their fill of the cool clear water. The calves? Well the calves had milkshake!

This little fellow, a bull calf, approached me along the bank, nose outstretched, to within a metre of me. When I lifted the camera to take his portrait he bounded up the hill behind me, still very curious.

Then they all wandered off a little way, fun over, the mums thirst slaked, over to where the little ones had their milkshake, and they all lay down for an early morning siesta.  

I think these are Charolais beef cattle, (Bos taurus).

Photo: Wikipedia.

The little guy in the photo above could end up looking like this. Sure am glad that dad wasn't with them!


Jo said...

Phew, Phil, what a narrow escape. I love your description of all the calves then cows running down the slope. And then the one who wheezed and coughed at the rear. I could just see them! I think those are Charolais. That spot you fish at looks so tranquil. Have a great week ahead. (We're off to a Class 8/Std 8 dinner tonight) love Jo

Gorges Smythe said...

That reminds me a bit of a story I told called "Tony's Last Stand." It may still be in my early blog posts, but I'm not sure. Glad you weren' trampled or forced to swim for your life!

Shoreman said...

Sounds more like a "clean your pants out" moment. I too, am glad you didn't get trampled.


Joel said...

I am glad you are ok! A couple of years ago a woman got killed by some cows in a field somewhere. Cows tend sto be seen a placid animals, but they still pretty heavy and powerful and protective of their calves. As I said, glad you're well after this scare!

Phillip said...

Don't get between a cow and her calf, then you are looking for trouble, especially a very young calf. I don't think I was in any real danger.