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Death in the Afternoon

Council, ID.  Now reading "Sharpe's Eagle," by Bernard Cornwell.

Not so far away from my trailer, two black cows started up with some angry bellowing. Except they weren't vacas; they were toros. Actually it has been many years since I have encountered real bulls, and not just the nambie-pambie specimens that you see nowadays. 

My dog will sometimes chase cows when she is off-leash, but she made no move toward the bulls. The bulls were on opposite sides of a barbed wire fence. One would push his big head across the fence and push at the other bull. They would paw angrily at the ground and kick dirt on each other. 

One of the bulls must have been young: he was more demonstrative, and would flop around in the dust. 

The bellowing was quite noticeable. A little scary. I actually closed my door, although the bull on my side of the barbed wire fence had little interest in me.

That little bit of caution reminded me of something: ahh yes, I was just an 8 year old boy, riding in the pickup truck with my grandfather on his farm. He told me to stay inside the truck. I remember the tone of his voice: it said, don't be too afraid, but don't treat this like a joke: his bull needed to be chased back across a hole in the fence.

The bulls carried on with their contest for about a half hour. Say, didn't Hemingway write something about bullfights in Spain, "Death in the Afternoon?" 


A google search came up with a free PDF version of that book. I have glanced at it, but not sure I will really read it. 

But it might be worth a try. Serendipitous encounters can find a traveler in a receptive mood, and stimulate their imagination, which is what traveling is all about.

It is what that eight year old boy responded to, when visiting his grandparents farm every summer. Life seemed more real there. Back in town with my parents, life was too controlled, safe, clean, and the main activity was watching the boob toob.