My father tells me that our neighbours were getting cattle into the yard when a Hereford cow went mad and attacked Jim’s stockhorse and threw it onto the air. When the horse hit the ground Jim dislocated his shoulder. “He’s left the horse for you to get the cow into the yard.” He says, “Be a good girl and go and get the cow in for them.”
Australian mateship required that if your neighbour has had an accident and requests help from your teenage daughter she is willingly sent into the lion’s den.
The horse, Gary, is a narrow weedy specimen with a ewe neck and a small weak head. With the weight of a large crazed beef animal hitting him amidships he would have sailed through the air! This horse has already had an accident; he’s not going to be a willing participant.
When I approach Gary he looks at me with piggy little eyes. It’s obvious that he has a shirt full of sore ribs! The solution would be to take my own horse but I don’t want it hurt as well. “Sorry Gary, it’s just you and me.”
When Jim offers me the stockwhip I decline. It was most likely the cause of the trouble. I don’t want to heap fuel on the fire.
This cow is a heavy mean looking brute with large forward curved horns. She is frothing at the mouth and her eyes are glowering red. When she sees the horse she lets out an enraged bellow and attacks again. Gary is not going to be in this, he’s not stupid. Every time I force him back to the cow she charges him and he whips around and bolts in the opposite direction! There is no way this horse is going near that cow. This is hilarious. I feel like a Spanish picador at the bullfights, but there’s no crowd cheering us on.
Jim has had enough of watching this circus of the cow and his horse diving in all directions around the paddock. With only one useful arm he goes to get the caterpillar bulldozer. The cow attacks the dozer. The blade towers above her but she fights it all the way up the paddock. Together we manage to push her into the yard with the other cattle and slam the gate shut.
What happened to the cow? No idea. Jim is driven to the Doctors to have his shoulder realigned. Gary is nursing his wounds in the paddock and the peace of a warm spring afternoon settles down on the farm across the road once more!