and the messages they bring you

The Reluctant Bull

Many years ago my parents bought themselves a small herd of highland cattle. It consisted of 3 older cows and a young bull by the name of Bear. Bear was not huge as far as bulls go; however he did have an impressive set of horns that spanned a good four feet. As a calf Bear had been taken from show to show and was very familiar with people and quite gentle for the most part. Perfect for my parents – who had absolutely no experience with anything much larger than a dog.

It was springtime and all three cows had calves walking by their side. Bear had already serviced his herd and was feeling so amorous that he thought that perhaps he could find more receptive mates on the other side of the fence. My parents were working at the time and had just returned home from their commute when they received a call from one of their new neighbors. Bear was apparently visiting with their cows.

As quick as possible both my parents grabbed the halter, which came with the bull when they bought him, some grain and drove over to the neighbors. One shake of the grain can and Bear forgot all about his amorous ways and ambled over for his treat. The problem became apparent when my parents realized that neither of them could remember how to put the halter on Bear. As they watched their dwindling grain supply they had to think fast. Only one thing left to do – so – they wrapped the halter around Bears massive horns and started to lead him back toward home.

Both my parents – just having arrived home from work before the “crisis” were still wearing their work clothes. So here they were – Dad in a suit and tie, Mom in skirt and dress shoes trying to entice Bear home.

Once the grain ran out the bull was not all that keen on leaving his new found “girlfriends”. He balked. Dad tugged at the rope that held him but still he balked. Mom picked up a few small stones and threw them at Bears hindquarters and he took a few steps. And this became the procession – Dad leading, Bear taking a few steps, Mom tossing a few stones at him from the rear. Two people dressed in their best and a shaggy long horned bull being pulled by the horns, slowly progressing down the road back to their home. The neighbors in the Hillsburgh community are probably still talking about the unlikely sight of the trio making their way home down the gravel road; suit, tie, skirt and dress shoes with the reluctant bull in tow.

It had one benefit though – my parents being new to the area were able to meet their neighbors and Bear saw to it that they would meet several more.

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