writing

AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! BULL(s)!!!

Hi girls,

I hope you’re all enjoying the autumn! I am, well, apart from the fact that this week I had an actual NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE!!!! Well, OK, maybe it wasn’t that near to death, but it was pretty blimmin’ scary. My friend and I were walking our dogs on the lovely common up the road, as we quite often do. Just so you can imagine the scene, it looks like this:

I.e. v naturey and not at all scary. It even has lovely ponies, which are also nice and look like this:

So, imagine my dismay et al, when we came round a corner and found ourselves face to face with one of these:

EEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKK! Especially for my friend, who didn’t even know they grazed cows up there! Well, I knew they grazed cows, but I wasn’t expecting to find a massive great black horned BULL!!! I stared at it in shock but it carried on walking towards us. If you stick your arms out to the sides, that’s about how far away it was.

And it did staring. In fact it was really good at scary, intense staring.

Then I realised it had a pal with it too, which looked like this:

And the pair of them had another big black bull in tow!

So I turned round and told my friend who was right behind me to walk the other way and we stumbled off through the undergrowth, thinking that 1. it might not follow us through the bushes and 2. we could always chuck the dogs over the barbed wire fence at the bottom of the hill and scramble over ourselves if it came charging at us.

My heart was pounding, I didn’t think my legs would hold up, I felt sick and shaky and utterly terrified. We managed to slip through a gateway and watched them pass, right up close. They were amazing, enormous beasts and their horns were pretty impressive, when we weren’t in danger of being gored by them.

Later on, another friend of mine who used to be a country ranger had a good laugh about our ‘terrifying ordeal’ and told me that beef bulls are pretty placid and were unlikely to take a run at us. The dairy dudes are the ones to watch out for, apparently!

The whole thing made me think, though – as a writer I have to create characters who are in the midst of powerful emotions – joy, hatred, fury, love, nervous anxiety, hope, to name but a few (as well as eyeball-quaking TERROR, of course!). In a way I get to stand ‘behind the gate’ because it’s not happening to me, but in another way I have to evoke those feelings and emotions in myself and remember them strongly to make them really real in my characters. So I tend to draw on everything in real life that happens to me for use in my writing. And that’s why, after a cup of tea and many biscuits and loads of my friend and I going, ‘OMG, I can’t believe that!’ I was grateful to the suddenly-looming bulls – next time I need to conjure up heart-pounding, gut-wretching, leg-powdering terror, I’ll know where to start!

10 thoughts on “AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! BULL(s)!!!

  1. Sounds scary! I remember when a swan kept me and nan hostage in our cabin on holiday by the lake. It just stayed there and hissed at us though the locked door. It wouldn’t move to let us out and we were there for 2 hours with it ju.st staring at us! Quite funny, thinking back on it actually.

  2. that sounds like a great lead in for a story Laura, I can just picture it!
    Kelly – I had a similar experience crossing the field to my village shop to get the Sunday paper, only to be followed by a very inquisitive herd of cows. I kept my head down and tried not to run, but in my mind I was saying ” don’t make eye contact, don’t make eye contact” and by the time I came back with the newspaper they had moved on!

    • Hi Fran! Excellent calm reaction by you!! That’s hwat we did, just turned and walked the other way – but I was really scared in case the dogs started a fight with them! Glad you got your paper OK!!! xx

  3. I remember once we were camping all over Scotland and we went to a campsite that had a sort of wildlife bit attached. There were deer, one bull in a little gated off place and highland cows. We were walking along when we came across some highland cows and spotted that one of them had a little calf! It was so cute so we started taking photographs. That was until it’s mother started to paw its hoof on the ground like in those cartoons where the animal gets ready to charge. We ran all the way back! I feel like I can relate to your story because we were terrified!

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