Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/26

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Subject: [Leica] Warning! Appetite supressant
From: jls at (Jeffery Smith)
Date: Sun Sep 26 14:25:07 2004

This may be the finest bovine picture I've ever seen. I'd hang a picture
like this in my living room if my wife would let me.

Jeffery Smith
New Orleans, LA

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of GeeBee
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2004 4:14 PM
Subject: [Leica] Warning! Appetite supressant

I'm walking through the English countryside, mostly forwards but
backwards. I occasionally walk backwards to make sure I am not missing a
nice landscape unfolding in the rear view so to speak.

The trouble with walking backwards is that foot placement is a random
haphazard affair and my boots will seek out cow pats with a reliability
bordering on the supernatural, almost as if the leather they are made of
sees immersion in crap, preferably warm, as a 'coming home'. My right
has 'come home' up to the third lace eyelet. I start wondering why cows,
uniquely as far as I am aware, always have diarrhoea and if a cow
produced a
'standard' emission would the farmer send for the vet on the basis that
cow must have eaten something that didn't agree with it. I digress.

I look all around the very large field I am in and there is no sign of
crap machine that just filled my right boot. From previously  walking
way (around Arthingworth not with a boot full of crap) I know that over
slight rise in the ground the way out of the field is through a gate set
behind a few dozen mature trees. I just know that all the cows will be
the shade of those trees between me and that gate. I crest the slight
and see that I was right.

Regular (no pun intended) readers of this column will know that I am a
'townie' and I prefer cattle to be at the gate when I enter a field so
I can make sure that I can
a) see that there is not a bull among them (very rare)
b) establish early superiority by having them move aside

I have entered fields with cattle some way off and on occasion one of
has stared to wander over toward me followed by another, then another.
one starts running get the picture. They always stop short
when I
wave my arms about (as I try to get airborne) but I find it intimidating
say the least. I have been told by people that know these things that
cattle are just curious or think that I am bringing food but that
is of little or no comfort as I fight the possibility of adding to the
fields crap level. I digress again.

When I reach the trees by the exit gate in the corner there are a few
down and I have two options, a circuitous route with fairly wide access
the gate or a more direct and much narrower route. I weigh the options.
circuitous route seems safer because the cattle, should they decide to
would have more room to manoeuvre. Conversely, if I should spook the
( I used to watch 'Rawhide') they could be faced with no way out other
over me. Then something else gets thrown into the mix. I note that one
them lying down in the centre is a little larger than the others and as
get closer becomes a lot larger than the others. The direct and narrower
route which by now I am committed to will take me a few feet from its'

I stride purposefully toward the safety of the gate which seems, by a
of the light, to be receding. As I pass within a few feet of the largest
'cow' it is absolutely no comfort to note the ring in its' nose but
thankfully he doesn't budge. Once through the gate I am emboldened and
a nothing shot to compliment the big build up :-) My route through was
the left :


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