A Load of Bull

Valleyites share their back roads and country lanes with all sorts of critters — although most of them don’t weigh 1,000 pounds and have horns



Dear Readers: The tale you are about to read is true and only the name of the big, scary bull was changed to protect his privacy.
Oh, and when you see “OH, BLEEP,” think of a juicy expletive, the kind I can’t write, but you can imagine. Pace yourself. You’ll need a few. Okay, on with our story.

It begins on a soft spring evening in the Hudson Valley, the kind when you just have to be outdoors. My daughter, home from college, rolled our bikes out of the garage and off we went.

Soon we were meandering down a quiet road, chatting about our favorite topics: The meaning of life. The mysteries of love. Shoes.

We rounded a curve, and there he was — a scary black bull standing still in the middle of the road.

“OH, BLEEP!” we yelped. (Hope you were ready.)

The bull, whom we’ll call “Bob,” turned his huge bull eyes toward us. And because panic does strange things, we began yelling without moving our lips, as if Bob could have understood.

Her: “Mmm! Wat shd vee duh!?” (“Mom! What should we do!?”)

Me: “Staa clm! Staa clm!” (“Stay calm! Stay calm!”)

The ventriloquism was a bust, so we switched to your garden-variety shouting while I prayed that Bob was not the Mr. Ed of the bull world.

“I sure hope he’s not like Mr. Ed on TV!” I shouted to my daughter.

“Mr. who?” she shouted back.

“He was that famous talking horse and... Oh, never mind! You’re too young! Pedal! Pedal!”

Things were going as well as they can when you are inches away from a massive animal that is lost, disoriented, and looks hungry enough to eat two women and two bicycles.

And that’s when the stupid teenager in the fast car came on the scene. He screeched to a halt near Bob like he’d just finished the Indy 500, and leaned on the horn.

Bob did not like the stupid teenager in the fast car. Bob liked us better. So he began running our way.

We yelped, “OH, BLEEP!” (Make it good.)

And at that very moment, six deer decided to leap from the woods onto the road in front of us. (Ready?) “OH, BLEEP!” we yelped again.

It was quite a scene. Two bikes. One bull. Six deer. And a teenager ready to run us all down. Who said country life is boring?

To give Bob his due, he managed a decent 100-yard dash. But being no Road Runner, he tired out and then veered off into a field. The deer followed Bob. We pulled off to the side, while the stupid teenager in the fast car took off. ZOOM!

Later, over our post-trauma ice cream, we made a pact not to tell this tale to our downstate relatives. They think we’re big hicks already. The story spread anyway, and now we’re called “Daisy Mae and Elly Mae” at all family functions.

We don’t know who ratted us out. Maybe the stupid teenager in the fast car. But if not him, then we know a talking bull on his way to Hollywood.

Writer Kathleen Norton lives in Red Hook. To read more of her work, visit http://kathleennorton­­1.wordpress.com.