Picture this: we’re hiking along, out of breath, legs screaming at us to allow them a rest, and we’ve just passed through a gated area into a field that’s rife with animals. Up ahead, we hear some very vocal cows. What’s going on?
Up here, in the small-town farmland, there are so many places to hike. There are signs posted everywhere, reminding hikers to close the gates, and to keep dogs on their leads. The last reminder is crucial.
Cows are incredibly protective of their young, and this translates to aggressiveness against other creatures. Dogs are supposed to be kept on their leashes during these hikes, so that they can be controlled, and not scare the cows. This did not happen. Enter our stars of the day – two poor English men who happened to be in the wrong field, at the exact wrong time.
From what I’ve gathered, there seems to have been some people walking their dog, leash-less, in the very field that our men were trampled in. While they (and presumably their dog) got away just fine, our two fellas didn’t fare so well. We witnessed one being lifted by a cow, and the other getting knocked over while trying to help. I’ve never heard cows moo quite so loud.
Enter the farmer. He comes roaring up on his ATV, and spends the next few minutes making sure the men are okay, and then herding the cows away from that area. We brave the danger zone, and strike up a conversation with the men. The farmer returns.
So do the cows.
Beth starts screaming “THEY’RE COMING BACK“; mom-mode instantly activated. It takes a few times yelling (and Alex letting out a shrill whistle) until the farmer realizes that she’s talking to him. He guns the engine, and takes off after the cows all over again. That’s our cue to run.
Once we’re safely into another field, we have a chat with these chaps, and get them cleaned up. One of them had blood running all down his face, but it ended up seeming worse than it really was. Thankfully, Alex was prepared with a first aid kit, so we were ready to go.
These guys were champs; after taking a beating from the cows, their only complaint was that one of their cameras stopped working. It was certainly a memorable moment, and the only time something like this has happened during Beth and Alex’s many years of running the field school.