Last night, I helped Dad sort cows and calves. Some were going to the other farm to be turned out with one bull for the breeding season, the others were staying at this farm to be bred to our second bull.
We loaded the group destined for the other farm on the trailer, and when we arrived, closed gates so the creatures could step out into the barn lot and then meander into the pasture south of the barn. They generally knew the routine, and all went well.
The bull could hear that there were new residents on the farm, and he showed his excitement with deep bellows.
So Dad opened the gates of his pen to let him into the barn lot so he could follow the cows. I was inside the enclosure we had made, intending to turn the bull in the correct direction with a wave of my arms. I had to wait for a little while before the bull emerged into my sight past the hay shed, and as soon as he turned that corner, he came charging. Our eyes locked for only a split second before I turned and ran, flying up the bars of an orange gate that was tightly secured on both sides but still leaned away from me, slowing my adrenaline-led scramble. The muscle in my right thigh pulled as I frantically climbed and then jumped from the top of the gate to the ground.
As soon as I hit, I whirled around. The bull had pulled out of his charge with an abrupt sideways leap into the spot where I had been standing, glaring at me out of his right eye.
I waved my arms to get him to move to the pasture, and when he trotted that way, I went around the other side of the barn, shaking a bit.
There were three thoughts dominating as I clambered up and leaped down that gate:
“This is the bull I liked!” He is calmer than the other one, and eats his food gratefully and I can work around him most of the time.
The classes in which I had emphasized to my animal science students, “Never trust a bull.”
And, inner geek shining, “I’m in a Doctor Who episode. And he just told me to run.”