I walk my dog early in the morning. I’m usually awake before the alarm goes off so when it beeps incessantly on the nightstand I’m already half out of bed. With the addition of oversized clothes, a quick brush of the hair, doggy bag, lead and flashlight we are off out the door, out the gate and down the road.
Most mornings I’m the only dog walker crazy enough to be out by 5:30am. Others follow after but often I’m on my way home when anyone else braving the early hours is just starting out. I like this quiet time. It suits me just fine not to see another living soul while we walk along the road moving off the side once or twice for a few local ‘tradies’ to pass by on their way to work.
About a third of the way into our walk, alone in the dark and flashlight swinging back and forth, not really using it for the benefit of sight, more for preserving my life from on coming traffic, I almost step onto something protruding from the tarmac. As I side step the mound and point my flashlight downward I see a cow plop. This is not the first time this has happened.
My brain registers it on the odd-o-metre, but I continue on. A little farther down the road and some more dark mounds can be seen in the early morning light. Climbing the hill another little surprise or two await me. Yanking the dog aside so he does not step in it I come to the realisation that this is not normal.
The first time it happened I had just passed it off as a rogue cattle beast but the number of presents left for my dodging pleasure suggest something a little more robust than one, either that or this beast was in a spot of trouble. The first time I worried that I might actually stumble upon the beast(s) and get trampled. I’m not exactly a farm girl in the truest sense of the word. The big animals are frankly, BIG! This time I wondered if the farmer realised his cattle were sneaking out of a night to party hearty on the roadside.
By morning I figured they must get back through their little, wait, make that a LARGE escape hatch in the fence and saunter around as if nothing had happened and they had been snug in their fenced fields all night. Perhaps they were waiting just out of sight in the growing morning light watching to see if the idiot walking her dog in the dark would step on one of the large poo bombs dotted along the road. I could see the Far Side comic picture now with cattle in army helmets, a hoof on the dynamite detonator and the remnants of exploding poo swirling in the air with dog and owner incapacitated on the ground.
As before no cattle were seen on my walk and we returned home sans poo on shoes or paws. Perhaps next time I’ll be awake enough to keep my flashlight slightly ahead and down but sooner or later I bet the cattle will get the last laugh. ©