by Gloria Salavarria
Several years ago, I went out for my daily trike ride through Amish country along CR 116 and since I had my camera with me, I stopped to take pictures of some pigeons that I saw on the top of a silo. There were dairy cattle down below in the barnyard but I was more interested in the pigeons since I already had a lot of cow pictures.
It was then that I heard it and I couldn’t believe my ears. Was that a cow growling at me? I thought only dogs and cats growled – but a cow?
Then I heard it again, followed by a snort.
This time my eyes followed the sound and found this big cow with a ring through its nose.
Now this cow snorted again and I saw that there was a chain attached to that ring – which may have accounted for its bad mood but then I spotted testicles and that explained everything. This cow was the only cow in a whole barnyard full of cows with a nose ring and now I had a clearer understanding of what that ring means.
The bull started pawing the ground – first one foot and then the other. First a bit of dusting, then with each cycle a bit more dirt being thrown, and then five minutes into this facedown, this animal was taking me even more seriously with large clumps of dirt being flung over his back no less. I was glad there was this nice sturdy fence between me and him – and now I know why there is this nice sturdy fence. This isn’t the first time Mr. Big has taken exception to anyone near his cows.
Snap-happy fool that I am, I continued to click pictures and wasn’t taking the hint so now Mr. Big had to get “down and dirty.”
I always wondered where that macho term came from – down and dirty – but Mr. Big dropped to his fore knees and started vigorously rubbing his head back and forth in the dirt. His throwing dirt over his back wasn’t convincing enough for me so he had to rub his chin in dirt and get up and stare some more.
When the big guy bellowed, it was then that I decided that I should not tempt the strength of this fence against the strength of a one-ton animal in full testosterone so I left Mr. Big with his harem and headed down CR 116 to think about it for a while.
It makes more sense to me now that a farmer would put a ring in a bull’s nose. How else are you going to get his attention when his brains are stuck dangling between his hind legs. A good yank on that nose chain ought to do wonders when it comes to making this animal more docile when he’s being handled.
Come to think of it, when your teenaged son comes home with a freshly pierced nose and a ring in it, don’t get angry with him. Look upon this as a blessing with unintended (at least on his part) consequences. The next time you’re having a meaningful discussion with this guy and he’s not listening, do what the farmer does – grab the young bull by the nose ring and you’ll get his brains back up where they belong.