Every now and then you have a day like Friday, a day marred by a flat tyre, stripped wheel nut, machinery breakdowns and a string of bad luck.
I was scrabbling through my paperwork with Alex tucked in for his midday nap when one of our Holstein bulls ambled across the lawn past the cubby house.
As I watched in dismay, the one-tonne giant turned nonchalantly to scrub his massive head against the base of a tree. Until that moment, I’d decided to sit tight and hope he would settle in for a quiet graze until Little Man awoke. But head scrubbing is the first step in an avalanche of bullish destruction that, set in my treasured garden, is too awful to contemplate.
I rushed outside with flailing arms and a bark bigger than its bite. It was enough to distract Bos Perditor and buy me time to rustle up the Little Man.
The Little Man is always up for an adventure and woke with bright eyes when I explained that we were going bull hunting. “Bull hunting, Mama? Like the bear hunt, it’s a beautiful day?”
Bouncing into the Bobcat, we pursued Bos into the wilds of the windbreak, where he turned and faced me. In the ensuing standoff, I broke a flimsy stick over his broad head. Bos didn’t flinch. Simply stood, staring, and then in his own time, wandered out to the road back towards the gate he’d broken and his buddy. So far, so good, but then his mood changed and off he went down the road.
By now I was on foot again with another stick and managed to get in front of him as a 4WD rounded the curve and slowed. The bull sized me up, lowered his head and simply stood there.
I wasn’t scared,
For I have never been afraid.
Of anything. Not very.
This stick, too, broke across his poll without any effect as the 4WD glided by. Now I was getting desperate and ran back to Alex and the Bobcat – at 730kg, the machine weighs almost as much as the beast and makes a more formidable opponent than a flimsy middle-aged farmer.
But by then, the man in the 4WD had done something wonderful. He reversed, pushed the nose of his vehicle towards the bull and tooted the horn like he meant business. My heart leapt. Together, we could win this. Armed a little more meaningfully with a star picket, I marched up to Bos, who turned and swaggered through the gate to join his buddy.
I didn’t get to thank the 4WD driver wearing his Chubb uniform – apart from a smile and a wave – but by taking three minutes out of his day, he made mine. Sometimes, it feels like we’re living in a dog-eat-dog world but a scratch of trouble reveals beauty that lies just below the surface.