Holiday Part IV - Close encounters of the bovine kind


We had a couple of close encounters with cows when we were on holiday. If you're not an animal lover, please do skip this one!

I had an opinion about cows before the honeymoon. I assumed them to be personality-free animals who are as dumb as bricks. Wrong! I discovered cows are curious (as in they want to 'meet' you), clever, sometimes skittish, and that some are more dominant than others.

Cow Encounter #1 was when on the Sunday evening of our holiday. As we drove out to meet J's parents and grandparents, I noticed a farm gate and a view of rolling hills. We decided to go back that night to take photos around sunset time.

When we got there, there were about 30 cows in the field. We went up to the gate with the idea of taking some shots of the fields with the cows in the foreground, but the cows swarmed over to the gate. In the next 15 minutes we saw 2 clever cows repeatedly try to open the farm gate with their tongues to get closer to us (it was chained as well) and several cows climbed over each other (it looked like they were trying to hump each other!) to get to the front. I put my hand out to touch them on their muzzles (if that's the right name for a cow face in between the eyes and their wet noses) and they were sniffing me like crazy and trying to lick me.

Onto the photos. As ever you can click on them for larger images.

This cow was mean looking

Cow Encounter #2 was a bit more scary at first.

We'd been to Perranporth and on the way back I asked to stop off just before we got to Mevagissey to take photos of the viewpoint of rolling Mevagissey hills and Pentewan beach, which is probably my favourite view in the UK. There are a few places to pull the car in, so we stopped at the one in the middle and walked down the hill a bit as the view was better there. I noticed a very overgrown coast path in between two giant bits of greenery and we started off down it. We soon came to a gate and signs for the coast path. We decided to go into a farmer's field to follow the path for a while as the view was outstanding. There were cows in the field. I got no more than 6 feet into the field before two cows - who were as tall as me up to the shoulder - started RUNNING towards me at speed. I had no idea cows could move so fast. I yelled at J behind me to run, and we got back to the gate just in time.

This was the gate I had to scarper back to

I'm watching you-hoo!

These cows were even more curious about me than the previous ones. I know they didn't want to hurt me, they were just coming over to say hello, but they still could've done me some damage if they'd run into me. They were taking deep sniffs of me and desperately trying to lick me. I'd put my hand out so far then jump back when they tried to lick me, which would scare them a bit, so they'd jump back too. I had my foot on the bottom bar of the gate and one of the cows started licking my shoe, so I put my foot out farther to see what it would do. It took my foot and shoe in its mouth and gently brought it down, not trying to bite me (besides which, cows only have top teeth at the very back, so it couldn't have bitten me anyway) but a bit similar to when a big dog puts its teeth gently around your wrist, to size you up, to investigate. I ended up with a slobbery foot and in a fit of giggles.

I was ambivalent about cows before, but now I'm a big fan.....but I still won't be getting into a field full of them any time soon! P.S. Stay upwind!

Have you got a fascination with a 'strange' animal?

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