The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday 11 May 2008

The Sneakiness of the Cows

Mick thinks that cows are sneaky. They'll all be grazing merrily, often exactly in the line of your path. All seems fine when they run away at your approach.

However, as soon as you get past them, they start to follow you - but (and this is the sneaky bit) if you should turn back to look at them, they all stop and look nonchalant. You can almost hear them whistling as they gaze around in that 'noooo, I wasn't following' sort of way.

Carry on walking and they gain on you again. Look back and they stop. And so on, until eventually they entire herd is right on your heels.

Personally, I think that they're sneaky in more ways though. I reckon that they all get together each morning and decide what tactics they're going to use against walkers that day.

The other options are that:
- they all stand in front of your exit gate, staring you down, as you approach and refuse to move without great persuasion;

- they all calmly carry on grazing, seemingly ignoring you until one of them gives the sign to stampede at you, without warning, approximately half way across their field (i.e. the biggest distance from an exit point);

- as soon as they see you coming three quarters of the herd runs directly towards your exit point, whilst the other quarter run directly at you.

It was the latter scenario that occurred today, so not only did we have the predicament of needing to move 18 cows from in front of a gate, but we also had to evade the six running straight at us.

And that doesn't even touch on their strategies of creating the muddiest, most rutted obstacles at the most inconvenient points on a ROW...

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