Memories of Cows and Bulls.



Memories of Cows and Bulls:

Small. Exploring in a field by the reservoir, fascinated by wild flowers, worms, humming flies, long wet grass. Unseen, a crowd of young bulls in the distance. Sudden! thunder in the floor – chasing, bulky firm inquisitive hooves, wet noses, towards me, a crowd, my tiny frame. Tumble back to fence, forwards not behind, breath high, wet face, fall through long wet grass, wind in my ears, scramble over. Safe. Hate cows.

Ireland. Young adult. Green, rolling lane, early evening. Scent of retreating sunlight and seasalt. Hand in hand. A small field, cow and calf. Calf walks to mother, nose touch. Tenderness close to melancholy. Mother licks side of calf with small strokes. Silence in their circle. Moment without breath.

Mid-Adult. Sudden illness. Walking, pain, reduced to shadows of steps. Daily therapeutic up and downs with embarrassing stick along the lane under the curve of Ditchling Beacon. Flanked by animals, left to right, sheep, cows, horses. Scent of flowers and green. Pain, up and down, side to side. Forward step by step. Look right to see large, stolid body of cow standing in buttercup field. Stop to gaze. Lean. Breathe. Such a large, firm body, she stretches, curves backwards and sideways to lick flank. Such a tender motion, such grace. Delicacy in large, sinuous frame so touching. So quiet. A small light of sun on my back.

Adult. Cornwall. Small house only just inland. Take tea out to garden. Whole hand of sun comforts head, a memory, stroking to face. Wild, young bulls by wall at end of garden. I’m larger now, less afraid. Though glad of the wall. They munch garden flowers, almost skid down wall, nudge and budge, feckless hooves, snort, puff, naughty eyes. Energy of children.

Present. Daily walks up to top of lane. So glad of it. Walk up to hill. Long view over valley and distant cars spiral. Lean on gate, catch breath. Cows rest quietly, moon filled eyes. Proud horns down in the muscle man arm shape. Tearing at hay through the bars with tender lips and teeth like stones. Heavy, weighted bodies lump down to soil. Stare. Ears flick. Flies land, bounce off. Mud and earth. Something sure.




© C.E. Rennie, 2013

17 thoughts on “Memories of Cows and Bulls.

  1. Your literary images are a fine match for your visual ones, Cath. I’ll never again be able to look at down-curving horns without thinking of your allusion to muscle-man arms. How insightful!

    1. Thanks Gary! Yes, the muscle man thing just came to me when I was looking at them, and made me smile!

  2. I like it a lot, Cath…resonating memories of my tiny self, long grass to my knees and dandelion juice smudging little hands and cows up the lane…precious memories. Thank you for sharing…and remembering.

    1. Thanks Scott, I don’t think you can ever forget that first connection with nature..I’m glad it brought some memories too!

  3. Cath – I read this when you first published, and Loved ! (It was still very dark in the morning and I didn’t yet have my wits about me apparently because I failed to comment.) The very way in which you’ve framed your memories is both musical and photographic – it’s dreamy, melodic and real. Your photos are Wonderful! You and I have some parallel experiences going on, so no surprise that we also share some of the same feelings…and affection. This was truly a beautiful piece and I thank you Cath for carrying me back to some of my own treasured remembrances.

    1. I love the idea of you reading in the dark morning! So glad you enjoyed it and it brought you good memories..

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