Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lions and Tigers and...Cows?


So here you have it. After camping in my tent along a beautiful babbling brook my first night on the trail, I awoke to an equally beautiful morning. I was eager to hit the road, so I packed my gear, said goodbye to the babbling brook, and headed into Drymen to get supplies for the day. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the stupid town and I didn't want to get lost, anymore than I already was. So against my own better judgment, I  retraced my steps back to the brook and to the West Highland Way. I then made my way up and over a small hill and across a huge cow field, filled with mother cows and their calves. No problem. How many other hikers had ambled over the same sunny dale? Well they weren't me. I came over the ridge where I saw several calves kicking up their heels and playing and, for the most part, ignoring me. I knew I needed to be cautious. This wasn't my first rodeo. I waited for the little buggers to run down the hill towards their
mothers. Eventually they all did, except for one lone straggler. No worries. I shrugged my shoulders and began to walk the rest of the way up the hill when I heard ole Straggler’s mother give a fairly sizable, “mooooooo.” In my fully aware state, I headed away from the line between point “A” the calf, and point “B,” the overly protective momma cow. 'Smooth move. Well done,' I said to know one in particular. All was going as planned. Right up until Straggler decided to run right for me. And I mean right at me. So what happens you ask? Well I'll tell you. Momma cow, at a healthy, freight train sort of trot, does the same. Now listen, I'm not sure if you know this, but cows are BIG, and they are scary when they come at you at the speed of a Top Gear race car. So there I am, shitting myself, as this two ton cow barrels down on me. I hesitated for only a second. I, with lightning like speed, and the agility of a ballerina, bailed for a small bog that happened to be in field behind me. So there I am, ankle deep in a cow shit bog, being stared down by one pissed off, evil momma cow.
I damn near pissed myself. Now while this going, on ole Straggler there had already run off to play with his buddies. Thanks a lot dude. After one more motherly “mooo” in my direction, and a steely Clint Eastwood stink eye, momma cow ambled off and left me to my own devices. Just as I thought everything was in order, here comes another gigantic, massive, mammoth sized cow all covered in cow shit. She walks right up to the edge of the bog and stands there just staring at me out of one dirty, eye ball. I was like; Really? Seriously? To her I finally say, “shoo. Go on now.” Yeah right. She looked at me like “hey, F-you.” So, there I was, in the middle of this cow field, in the middle of the Scottish highlands, having a pissing contest with a cow. And she was winning. Finally, the damn thing gave me snort and a “hmmmnnphff...” and trotted off. By now, all I wanted was to get out of that god-forsaken field. So, off I go. I make to the top of the rise. I can see the other side; the gate to my freedom. But in between me and it, the biggest bull on God's green earth. All I could think is “are you shittin' me universe??” I stood there, frozen. I looked across the great expanse of the Scottish countryside which was littered with Mr. Bull's offspring. I looked back at the greatest bull of all time.
He looked up casually, gave me a look that said, “human, you may pass.” And with that, he put his head down and continued to graze with his back to me. He then slowly, as in a fuckin' eternity, made his way down into the glen. Finally, it was time for me to make my great escape. Man, I hightailed it up outta of there at a rate of speed that would have astounded you, and I am certain it impressed the cows.

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