Don’t Mess with the Bull or You’ll Get the Electric Fence

There’s an old saying, “One day you’ll look back and laugh,” and there’s a newer, more comical version, “Someday we’ll look back on this, laugh nervously and quickly change the subject.”

Good stories should be told, and I have a self-deprecating story I can laugh about now.

It was 2009. We’d been married for nine years. My husband was away for the day. He called and asked if I’d check on the farm.

I was hoping for a quick look around, followed by a nice return call confirming all was fine, ending with the usual, “What would you like for supper?” Unfortunately, the animals had other plans.

Cows were running in a newly seeded field; that meant the kind of call I dreaded.

“Those cows will ruin the field. Get them out of there!” husband said.

Now, one person stands little chance against a herd of cattle, but I had to at least try. It was a weekday, and I had two children in school, two little ones with me, and one baking in my belly. Luckily, my husband’s aunt was at the farm. She watched my little ones and my unproductive attempt to get the cows out of the field.

A light drizzle turned into a heavier rain. I was soaked, tired, and not making any progress with the stubborn cows. Then it happened. I looked across the field and saw an unpleasant sight.

One of the “cows” had an extra something that made it a bull and me feel like I wanted to do a No. 2 in my britches.

Husband conveniently failed to inform me of some vital information: A bull was in with the cows. I’m sure it was an intentional omission as he was well aware of my fear of the cattle – especially the bull.


That enormous dangling appendage and the animal it was attached to immediately sent me into panic mode. Then the bull spotted me. He trotted across the field to – in my mind – kill me.

We moved along the fence line. Pregnant me clumsily navigating muddy ruts and cow patties. Mr. One Ton following behind.

I continued along the fence line debating my options. I wanted out of the fence. I glanced over my shoulder; he was gaining on me. My mind raced with limited options: (1) over the fence, (2) through it, (3) be trampled. The last option held absolutely zero appeal. I needed to deal with the fence.

I’d seen my husband hop over a fence many times; with the agility of an acrobat he executed it in a quick combination of moves that took mere seconds. But I am not my husband. The possibility of me successfully getting over an electrified high tensile fence, in the rain, with a pregnant belly, and possibly a pile of you-know-what in my pants was not feasible.

I went between the wires. The shock I received ensured any remaining poo in my body vacated the premise, but I was safe from the bull.

Morals of this story: If you mess with the bull, you may not get the horns – because not all bulls have horns – but you may get the electric fence. And sometimes it’s OK to tell your husband everything seems fine at the farm, and then make his favorite supper and dessert.

Thank you for reading!

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Published on Sep 17, 2015

Grit Magazine

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