Saturday, November 20, 2010

El Toro!

Walking ever southward, gaining in elevation, the terrain more mountainous, climbing over numerous barbed wire fences and crossing countless cattle grates... late one afternoon I passed through a penned field of cattle. Nothing unusual. They usually scurry. I had my sombrero down low over my eyes because of the angle of the setting sun. Some meters ahead of me, a cow stubbornly wasn't scurrying from the path like the rest. What a long skinny ugly udder, I thought. He half turned blocking the entire path lined with saltcedar. El Toro! Blanco! Gran! Oops on that misidentification. He half-turned again facing me. Conveniently with his head held high, he blocked the sun casting his shadow over me.

Yikes! Danger, Will Robinson. Quick: Hazards Analysis. Risk Assessment. Standard Operating Procedure (Draft). This type of thinking comes automatically after a long career in dealing with uncontrolled nuclear materials.

He snorted dust and stomped the ground stirring up a cloud of white sand. I can't outrun him, there's no where to hide. He stomped again. I've intruded on his world. My bad. At the third stomp, I leaned toward him and slapped my walking sticks together shouting 'Andele! Andele!' He stared for the briefest instance then ran off through the saltcedar. The cows and steers and calves stampeded after him all leaving me alone in a huge cloud of white dust. Huh, scared off a bull, and all without a sequined bolero jacket. Success.


Compostelle 2008 said...

Yeah! Success indeed! I am impressed at your "sang-froid".

Michèle , Ottawa (ON) Canada

Sheila Phelan Wright said...

And I thought Spain was the only pilgrimage that took one near the running of the bulls.
Thinking often about your beautiful words and journey while getting ready for Dharmasala...a town that proved to be a permanent stop for Tibetan refugees.

ksam said...

Well Done!! Now that I've picked my jaw up off the floor!

Anonymous said...

Oh--you brought back so many memories! Of my Grandmother yelling, "Andele" at us; of days doing hazard analysis--I loved the draft SOP!! Enjoy!! Karen