Gone Missing

Thanks to cell phones, email and good-old-fashioned horseback gossip, news travels fast around these parts.

It doesn’t take long to discover that a dog’s missing, or that a dodgey driver has banked his car in the ditch along the drive.

Or that a bull is on the loose.

I wasn’t home when the news broke but I did receive a bull-related email. It was like a warning notice ripped from the script of Law and Order: Be on the lookout… a predator is on the loose!

Only this message read: A not too friendly bull got out…anyone got a tranquilizer gun?

Apparently a local farmer and his crew were banding their stock when the young black bull made a break for it. He jumped out the window (of a barn, I assume) and cleared a fence.

Then he high-tailed it as fast as his cloven hooves could take him, swapping the confines of the cow farm for the woods and pastures of our horsey ‘hood.

The unfriendly bull was spotted several times that afternoon and even cornered on a few occasions. But each time he broke free. He liked the taste of freedom.

Skinny, shirtless teenagers, muttering into walkie-talkies, buzzed the area on ATVs. But by nightfall they’d had no luck finding the bull and they abandoned the search for dinner.

That was Tuesday and by Wednesday, we had no news on the runaway. My neighbor Liz, noted that the search party had not been deployed the second day: “No naked teenage boys on ATVs. They’re out cutting corn.”

But Thursday — day 3 — a train operator spotted the bull loitering on the train tracks. Somehow, he stopped the engine before impact and called the cops. One tranquilizer dart later and the bull had been apprehended.

I’m glad that they rounded him up. He was putting a crimp in our trail riding. And I think after 3 days on the lam, he wanted to be caught. Better to be face pasture confinement then wind up on a dinner plate, sandwiched in a bun…