My borrowed coat gave up the ghost. It was no longer waterproof in the slightest, so I reluctantly went to an outdoors shop. The nice man asked me how much money I wanted to spend, hiding his disappointment well when I told him my price range. He guided me to the Highlander range, explaining the special offer, and then said that he only had them in red. When he said that, he shifted his weight from foot to foot and looked uneasy. I thought nothing of it at the time, and bought said red coat, relieved that I would be able to trudge across rain swept moors with a dry torso.
Insects now see a six foot tall poppy crossing a moor and attempt to pollinate me. This I can deal with. What I hadn’t counted on was the moo cows. The male moo cows.
It was like the plot of my walk had been stolen from a 1980s video game. I had to climb a long hill on a winding path. Each turn of the path presented a new field. Each field was separated by a cattle grid. In the first field were large moo cows. I spent a fair while trying to look for udders. Do cows have horns? Are they cows or bulls? I skirted the largest groups and made it to the second level.
The second level had small cows with no udders. Bullocks, I thought to myself. I was thinking about how fleet of foot I could be with my backpack, and how I could dodge and weave if they charged. Which was all well and good, until three of them started running at me. I’d forgotten that animals could smell fear, as I stood rooted to the spot. This never happened in the bull fights I’d seen. And the guy normally had some help on horseback with drugged lances. And a sword and some spears. And no backpack strapped to their backs. And their red capes were never tied to the backpacks that they didn’t have, rendering impossible any ducking and weaving.
A fash of inspiration hit me, and I pointed at the lead bullock and said, “No!” in the sternest voice I could muster. He stopped his advance abruptly, looking as puzzled as a bullock can. I repeated the command to his two cohorts, and they too stopped in their tracks. For a bit. Then the lead bullock started towards me again. It then became like a game of spinning plates. I’d command the nearest bovine to be still, and he’d remain stationery for a few seconds, while I halted the others. Finally I summoned the courage to turn my back on the three and walk off, attempting not to look back or hurry away.
I made it to the end of the second level, and saw a relatively empty field for level three. Until I got to the end of level cattle grid, where two large end of level boss bulls stood barring my way. I thought of Blazing Saddles and the scene where Mungo punches out a bison. I didn’t fancy my chances, so wandered at the bulls trying not to maintain eye contact. I’d had enough of the game and hid my red coat in my backpack. Let Mungo have the glory.