Ladies Of The Field!

Cows I’m coping with disappointment this morning.  Having pulled up in our usual lay-by, put The Mutleys on their leads before they leave the rear of the car, both shaking with anticipation, we walk the short distance to the style when, usually, the dogs are de-leaded (I’m not sure that’s a word!) and posted through the lower section and I climb the style, into ‘our field’.  I should say there is a right-of-way across this field, so we are not trespassing.

Shock, horror!  Today we are met by a dozen or more wet, hairy muzzles each belonging to a Lady of the Field.  Oh gawd! 

No cattle have grazed upon this lush grass for many months, which is why the field is so perfect for us!  No grazing equals no deposits, if you know what I mean. 

Now, believe it or not, there is a lady in America who has made a fortune over the Internet using dried out cow pats!  Yes, absolutely true!  She wanted a product to sell and looked around her rural community for something freely available.   End result?  Cow pats dried out, varnished and with a clock face inserted in the middle.  She’s sold thousands but don’t think I’m tempted.

Obviously the field is off limits for now.  I’m disappointed also because I always do my thinking during this morning session in the field.  There’s a huge tree I always rest by.  Under the protective branches (shelter from both sun and rain), I let my thoughts cascade.  Not today!  Why, Ladies, can you not delay your arrival for half an hour?   The field is covered in black and white creatures, mostly sitting chewing!  I understand your urge to graze but can’t you do the chewing and methane production somewhere else, please? 

I felt myself softening as I looked into the beautiful, long-lashed eyes of the inquisitive few who greet us.  One in particular caught my eye.  She looked as though she had been in the beauty parlour rather than the milking parlour!  She glanced at me from under a row of perfectly coiffured black curls which looked splendid against the white of her forehead.  Her indecently long eye lashes were also shown in stark relief against her white face.  Cow!!

Such gentleness in such large beasts.  I like that.  Some years ago (OK, many moons!) I worked with a wonderfully inspirational man, Peter Jewell, a Professor at Cambridge University.  My admiration for that man knows no bounds; it seemed his students learnt simply by breathing the same air.  "What is she rambling about now ?", you may justifiably be thinking.  Well, you may not know what I am about to share . . .

I worked with one of the Professor’s PhD students who was prepring a thesis on the hierarchy of the herd.  Boring?  Not at all.  For instance, did you know that a herd always grazes in the same direction so as to avoid head on conflict?  Have a look next time you pass a field of grazing cattle.  Also, there is a distinct hierarchy, even among our docile domestic herds.  Each cow has her own personality and place within the herd.  Yes, of course, it makes sense when we think about it but the detailed relationships described by the student who had studies the same animals for a year was truly fascinating!

Back to my problem.  Back to the car!  Mutleys confused and I needed a Latte.  No Starbucks here!  Wanted to head home.  Didn’t want to return to scene of last week’s incident.  Oh well, the rugby field it had to be.  Trouble there was that the walkers (I use the term loosely) are all very elderly and their dogs are, well, let’s just say they’ve been lifetime companions.  Sue’ll was happy retrieving her ball but as for the other delinquent . . . they don’t understand he only wanted to play tag!  In dog years, Alf’s 14!  Heck, he’s a teenager!  Fancy having a dog and a son both fourteen at the same time! 

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