Shock and Bull Story

My two mates and I, who are well past our sell by dates, like to do a little bit of metal detecting. A few weeks ago we asked a farmer for permission to detect on one of his fields, he said that we could, but the field on which we could detect was through another field which had a herd of cows and their calves in it. He assured us the cows wouldn't bother us, so off we went. Braveheart, set off in front (as usual) and began cutting across the first field straight through the grazing cows and their newly born calves. Me and my other detecting mate decided after two or three seconds of deep thought that we weren't as confident as Braveheart and so we would make our way around the outside edge of the field by walking by the side of the hedgerow.

We had only managed to stumble a few yards through a patch of shoulder high nettles when I happened to look over towards Braveheart who was striding confidently through the herd of cows, his spade over his shoulder and his headphones clamped tightly around his ears to keep them warm. The cows seemed to sense his determination and silently opened up a path in front of him as he strode purposefully forward whistling tunelessly. I couldn't do that I thought as we continued skirting the edge of the field, clinging to the hawthorn hedge and scanning the animals in case any of them began chewing grass in a threatening manner. Our escape plan, even though not discussed, was to throw ourselves through the hedge at the slightest movement towards us, not so much a plan I suppose as letting sheer terror take control. Then my mate stopped dead in front of me. I looked down at his feet expecting to see his foot ankle deep in a fresh steaming pile of organic fertilizer, then I caught the look on his face. I quickly turned my head to follow his stare, a huge (and when I use the word huge, I actually mean HUGE!!!) bull had appeared from a rickety old shed in the far corner of the field, my mate and I immediately executed our finely honed escape plan.

Braveheart however strode on. After picking myself up, I peered transfixed through the hawthorn and waited for the inevitable to happen. The bull stared menacingly at the back of Braveheart and began building up a good head of steam. With each step Braveheart took, the bull became more and more agitated stamping and snorting loudly, its shoulders twitching as the blood pumped into its muscles. The cows and the calves started to panic and run towards the edges of the field at the bulls reaction. Braveheart was totally unaware of the pandemonium surrounding him and continued to stride purposefully on through the panicking herd. The bull charged.

My heart seemed to stop, we couldn't warn Braveheart because he couldn't hear us with his headphones on. The bull was now thundering towards him and began to lower its head. Then suddenly about 20 feet behind Braveheart the bull suddenly skidded to a halt, its front legs rigid as it dug great furrows into the ground with its hooves. Braveheart blissfully unaware of the horror being played out behind him, strode purposefully on. The bull snorted even louder as it dug at the ground with its hooves. It lowered its head for a second time and again started to charge. But beyond belief again it skidded to a halt by ploughing furrows in the ground with its hooves, but this time it was only about 2 foot behind Braveheart. I put my hands over my eyes, I couldn't watch. Then, the bull lifted its head and looked around the field, it saw that all the cows and calves were now grouped behind it and realising they were no longer in any kind of danger, it turned its huge bulk around and trotted back to the shed snorting loudly to impress the cows, its work was done. My mate and I, with our knees knocking, made our way around to the second field to meet Braveheart who was now safely and happily detecting in the next field. We told him how lucky he had just been and how close he had come to some serious surgery and being fed via a drip feed. He just shrugged his shoulders and continued to swing his detector from side to side, he never missed a beat.

Unfortunately, we had no luck with the detecting that day and to avoid any further encounters with the bull we made a 1.5 mile detour by road to get back to the car. The sequel to this story is that when we went back to the farm a few weeks later (yes I know we must be mad), the farmer wasn't there, it turned out that he had been helping a cow to deliver a calve the very next day, when the bull showed up and definitely didn't like what he was seeing. The farmer was now in hospital and would be there for several weeks.

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