Question: are bovines color blind? Or more specifically, are Black Angus cows color blind? I could hop over to Google with that question and get it answered in under 7 seconds, but I thought I’d ask you instead. Why am I asking? Because of “the grass is always greener” adage. You’ve seen cattle doing this; working their big (empty?) heads between rows of barbed wire fencing, straining their necks to munch on grass that looks exactly like the grass they’re standing on. Why do they do that when they have acres of verdant pasture to dine on?
Another question: do you remember classroom field trips? A permission slip signed by a parent or guardian was required for you to go and you almost always traveled to the "field trip” site by school bus with your teacher, and parents who acted as chaperones. The trip deemed educational involved local museums or art galleries/festivals, choral concerts and other things of that nature.
Combine the two above questions and the rest of this post will begin to make sense. I promise.
Not a Black Angus ( I had no time to stop and take a photo ), but isn't this a great photo? Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
When I saw a half dozen Black Angus cows standing on the right side of the road I was driving on to get to a substitute teaching job one day last week, I immediately thought of school field trips. Why? Because seeing these cows triggered a mental headline: Out-Of-Field-Trip. I braked to 2 miles an hour then stopped completely when one cow broke out of the tight circle to begin crossing the road, approaching vehicle be damned. Maybe it was the gathering of guinea hens darting about on the opposite roadside that provoked her to do this, I don’t know. Whatever reason she had for taking her sweet time to get over there and then changing her mind and stopping in the middle of the road, I’ll never know and don’t care about. She was impeding my progress, that’s all I cared about. Before I could blast the car horn, she trotted back to her band of bovines and I eased past, really hoping they’d play freeze tag until I was gone. And they did.
This Off The Rez situation is one I encountered three times last week. Within 24 hours of each other. The one above, early in the morning and the next one, the evening of the same day as I drove home from my store job. Now, this second situation could have, and I pray it didn't, cause a catastrophe of huge proportions if the cattle owner didn't locate his wayward cow quickly. I have no idea if he did or not, but haven't seen anything in printed news or heard on the radio about a cow and vehicle collision on Highway 86, just after the curve past Uncle Roy’s One Stop convenience store. A single cow stood on the wrong side of the cattle guard, about a cow’s length from the highway. All of her field mates were looking at her broad backside with an expression of “Uh, Gladys”, (no offense to all you Gladyses - she looked like a Gladys to me), “You’re gonna get in BIG TROUBLE if you cross that road.” (There were a few amongst the herd that looked like tattlers).
Mary Pickford, (1892-1979), silent film star, real name Gladys Louise Smith. Photo taken in 1921.
The third incident happened while on my daily 3/4/5 mile walk. About a mile from home on my return route, there’s a cow standing in the wooded area that divides the rural road from a creek and a large pasture beyond that; the pasture that the cow was supposed to be in. It was a beautiful day for a walk, which must have been her thinking. Leave that green pasture to amble beneath the tree canopy, make a pit stop at the creek recently restocked with a day’s worth of rain. She didn’t see me coming and I didn’t see her until I was a couple feet away. (Per usual, I was reading while walking and not on the lookout for an off-course cow.) Startled is putting it mildly. With a look of panic in her huge brown eyes, she galloped back in the direction of the herd, I let out a girlish squeal and may or may not have uttered an expletive. Midway through the woods she stopped to glare at me and moo for a full 20 seconds. I had not made her day.
I have now reached my monthly quota for playing livestock dodgeball.
And you? Any similar incidents, recently, or ever?
Welcome to my blog. I write contemporary and historical romance suspense novels and enjoy sharing aspects of everyday life . Tune in once a week for the latest and don't be shy about sharing your own insights.