Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Passing Cows - a wee story part three

The cows sway in time to their hooves as they amble to the side of the road.
We drive carefully down the arrow of road re-emerging in front of us. The cows only give us a passing glance. They are more interested in the grass on the verge.
A human head pops up amongst the black and white bumpy back bones. The farmer is astride his quad bike and riding towards us. He takes one hand off the handlebars and is waving at us.
Simon drops the window as we drive up abreast of him. The farmer leans across to the open window.
“Christ mate. Slow down. Do you know how much damage one of these could do to your car?“ He shakes his head and looks back to the cows.
The farmer stands up on his bike. He guns it towards the back of the herd.
Simon stabs the button and window slides up again.
We creep forward much slower now.
“How are you supposed to know how fast to pass cows?” Simon mutters.
I shrug. “The sign didn’t say.”
“Stupid cows.” He grumbles.
The cows are thinning out and walking faster. Around another corner we are alone and begin to pick up speed.
“You wouldn’t believe we were so close to an international airport would you?” I say.
“In some cities we’d still be in the suburbs, not passing cows.”
The wipers sweep up the collection of rain polka dots on the windscreen, smearing them in arcs.
“Yeah. Do you remember that two hour bus ride in London to get to Heathrow?
There was that guy who wanted to know what we were laughing about?” Simon asks.
I laugh “Do you think he knows how fast to drive through cows?’
On our right arrives the yellow signpost pointing to the reserve and our destination. We turn onto the rocky patch of scrubby cut grass, half surrounded by a remnant of native bush. It is hard to decide whether to be pleased this piece has been saved or sad it is the only piece in the area remaining amongst the farmland.
We get out of the car into the rain. It is falling more steadily.

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.