General Non-Fiction posted October 10, 2021

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A potentially dangerous encounter with cattle.

An extraordinary cattle story

by Sandra Barlow

An extraordinary cattle story from early days on my property.

Many years ago now, when I owned my old Toyota Lite Stout Ute, which was not 4WD, I had to leave it down at the gate a kilometre away. On this particular day, I was walking downhill on the clay track in my neighbour’s paddock/field.

My attention was drawn to a sound; I turned in the direction, but nothing to see. A split second later, cattle came thundering over the steep bank that hid them from view. They charged down the track that I was standing on and I had no time to escape, nor was there anywhere to escape to.

If I ran, I would have surely fallen over and been trampled to death. Involuntarily I put both hands up and shouted, STOP! This was just one second from the first sight of them. Incredibly, they did stop.

However, they gathered around me, getting closer and closer, till I could smell their breath. I was now hemmed in with steers and bulls only inches from me and four and five deep in a circle around me.

I’m still alive and I haven’t been harmed, but how to get out of there. Tick, tick, tick, my brain is in overdrive. I have to reach the bus stop somehow to pick up my children from school.

A bizarre thought crosses my mind. I’m ready to try anything, as long as it works. I face all the cattle and I end up facing uphill. I speak in a loud, but kind voice, “would you like me to sing the Japanese Divine World Prayer?”

Now, this is the part where no one is going to believe me, however, it is as true as I am sitting here writing about it. Three of the cattle that were directly in front of me vigorously nodded and snorted, which I took to be a ‘yes’.

I sang the Divine World Prayer facing all four compass directions, with my right hand raised, as it is properly done. GOKOBI JISSO GENGEN SHIKARI. TAMAR AMAH HARMI……etc. etc. The cattle remained silent and intrigued throughout. It takes about ten minutes to complete. The cattle remained silent and still after I had completed the prayer. Now what?

Everything had gone so bizarrely well up to this point; I thought I’d try asking them to move. I can’t remember the exact words I used now, but I remember I was facing downhill when I asked. The cattle parted and left about one-metre separation and I walked through them, some sniffing me and some trying to lick me. I walked on down to the creek and only turned to look back as I rounded a corner with a bank that would block my view of them. They were still in the same spot, all staring down at me.


I realise that this story is hard to believe, but I have had so many extreme experiences in my life that there really is no need to make stuff up. I can do that when I write fiction.
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© Copyright 2021. Sandra Barlow All rights reserved.
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