Growing up, I was no stranger to farm livestock.
In the valley, there were dairy and cattle farms.
A few were within a few miles of my home.
There was a vast field behind my house (much of it was hills in shape of a three-sided bowl) where occasionally, locales use it to rotate their cows and horses for grazing.
I had an aunt and uncle who lived three miles up the road (Steve’s parents). They always kept horses.
Across the road from their place was where Phil lived.
(Steve/Phil 1st introduced in Dumb Luck)
Phil’s dad was a dairy farmer.
I frequently got on my bike and visited them.
One summer day (I was 10), I went with the boys and headed out into one of the fields behind the barns.
Black and white cows peppered the open meadow as we meandered toward the watering hole.
Standing beside the manmade pond was a black bull.
“Aw, shoot!” Phil muttered. “it’s ruining them!”
He and Steve recently uncovered several arrowheads at the spot where the bull stood.
They wanted to show me their find. Of course, we had a problem.
All 1,500 pounds of it.
The boys debated on what to do about this – problem.
“If we just wait maybe he’ll go away.” Steve said.
“That could be forever!” Phil replied. “And the longer it sticks around, the more it will break them.”
“What do you want to do then?” Steve asked.
“Simple. We chase it away.”
I glanced to the animal and shook my head.
“I ain’t going anywhere near anything that’s way taller than me.” I crossed my arms at them.
Phil shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
I watched as they carefully stepped toward the bull until they stood about ten feet from it.
Up to this point, the bull had ignored the boys as it continued to graze on the grass near the water.
Phil took one step closer to the animal.
“Shoo!” He waved his hands in the air.
The bull continued to chomp on the shin-high green stalks.
“Hiya!” Phil yelled as he clapped his hands loudly.
This startled the animal as it jumped.
Instead of retreating, the bull charged us.
We were fast – but the bull was faster.
The open field was huge, and we knew we weren’t going to make it to the fence line before the bull trampled us.
Between the watering hole and the fence stood a lone Maple tree.
Phil reached it first.
He was nearly halfway to the top when I climbed up the lowest hanging branch with Steve pushing at my behind.
With Phil near the top, me in the middle and Steve just below me, we sat there and waited for the bull to leave us alone.
And waited…and waited.
“Great idea, Phil!” Steve bellowed.
“Aw, shut up!”
It was near dark when Phil’s Dad discovered us and led the animal away so we could get back on solid ground again.
I don’t think I ever heard a man laughed so hard.