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FullSizeRender-1Yes, I was thinking about work when my friend was driving me around for a tour of his longhorn cattle.  When he pointed out a feature of his beasts, I could tell that he was proud of them.  Moving in and out of his conversation was something I do all of the time.  Some call it multi-tasking.

The bright sun made me squint.  Turning my head away and raising an open hand to block the almost painful splashes of light gave me pause.  These massive animals suddenly captured all of my attention.

One of them stood up.  It was huge!  We drove our ATV right next to it and she turned her head to take in what she already sensed was near.  The massive horns deftly avoided hitting anything or hurting anyone.

She shifted her position, unfazed by the presence of human beings.  For now she looked around for some other position to take and then laid down again.  Her cud was keeping her casual and completely relaxed.

That was what arrested my busy mind.  She was totally and completely relaxed.  There did not seem to be a care in the world that would make her alert, nervous, anxious or concerned.

She had a calf that was exploring the world.  It was only days old.  Maybe Mama was recuperating from giving birth or maybe she took the down time that she was due.

Who knows what cows are thinking?

I was surprised by the conversation going on in my head.  But it dawned on me that I had not been thinking about work for the last several moments.  Her relaxation was having an impact on me.  I liked it.

Several other cattle were taking her lead.  They too had found a comfortable place in the pasture to lie down.  Their blood pressure levels seemed to be as casual as hers.

I was enjoying the warmth of the sun.  Easy moods seemed to multiply for me.  In that pleasant Texas morning it was easy to “chill” and take in the ease of being alive and stress-free for the moment.

A slow pace, relaxed atmosphere, simple style and basic comforts of the area were all that I needed.  Some how the busy face paced life back in the city melted away.  Who knows what cows are thinking?  I do.  They are thinking about nothing at all.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

photo 1My host smiled after he invited me to wander in the woods and enjoy everything that there was to see.  “You will be perfectly safe,” his assuring words gave me confidence.  Still, there was that lingering hesitation of what was hidden in the scrub brush, mesquite and cacti of the Texas ranch.

Armed with my cellphone camera and good hiking boots, the trappings of civilization faded behind me.  The ranch bunk house, chuck wagon, ranch house and resident cowboys could no longer be seen.  I was alone.

Yet, that aloneness was not the comfort or solitude that I was expecting.  Instead, I felt that I was the object of other eyes.  Someone or something was watching me.

I stopped walking.  It is one of those human moments when you strain all of your physical senses to assess your unshakable feelings of a breach in your personal security.  There was no room for rational thinking as my first line of defense.

Slowly, I scanned my surroundings.  I knew that I was being watched.  Finding outphoto 2 who or what was now my highest priority.

My systematic peering into the tall grass paused at a toppled tree.  Underneath the fallen branch something that was not vegetation was there, on the other side.  I cocked my head to get a better look.

Whatever it was, it was big.  No, adjust that conclusion.  It was huge!

On the one hand, my city instincts told me to escape. On the other hand, my curiosity made me want to get closer and identify my source of ill-at-ease-feeling-of-being-watched.  Curiosity won.

Our eyes were locked on to each other.  It had the advantage of spying on my first.  Certainly there was no fear in its eyes.  I did not want it to sense mine.

Slowly I stepped behind a tree.  Out of sight I rapidly made up ground between us.  It was a precaution that was unnecessary.

When I peered around my hiding tree, the creature was no longer where I had left it.  It too was closing ground between us. Curiosity won in its spirit too.

Face to face, the giant Watusi from the land of Africa stared at me while I carefully took its picture.  What an amazing creature that God has created in this breed of cattle.  Its massive headdress of horns is like none other we humans have ever seen.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography