So... we're driving down Barbee Chapel Road on the way to the fireworks last weekend when, Oops! There goes a cow, stumblewalking off the shoulder, which is pitched at an angle and contains a deep ditch (hence the stumbling), and into the road. She is immediately followed by her cow friend, slightly more graceful, who stays along the shoulder. A human blocks our path, his arms outstretched in a sign to slow us down while simultaneously warning the cows not wander too far up the road. He's one of three humans working to get Bessie and Bessie Mae back in their pen.
Now, depending on how much you know about cows, the following scene may come as no surprise to you. The humans earnestly herding the cows, who are soon joined by a bull, by the way, are clapping their hands, stretching themselves out to create a visual barrier, one with a large, large stick, working together to convince the cows to move back toward some spot in the fence that I can't see behind the bushes but I assume is the break where they got out. The cows, of course, are wise to their methods, and they, in all their cow brilliance, move slowly and cowly along the shoulder, slyly pretending to go toward the spot the humans want, but at the last second (oh no!), they shuffle along past.
One thing I tend to forget about my life is that the cowboy hat covers a real live cowboy, who promptly jumped out of the car to help. Good thing too, because the cows were genuinely avoiding the human intervention, and about this time decided that running pellmell down the shoulder toward Southpoint Mall and interesting points beyond was a GREAT cow idea!! Off the humans go, Bill among the first, chase chase chasing the cows (COWS, people, COWS!!!) down the road.
Now, at this point, I have a very important role. Being vaguely afraid of cows (no lie), I decided to stay in the car and use my very powerful, large, red vehicle to block the path of the cows, and, well, let's admit it, laugh at the absurdity of the drama unfolding before me.
At some point they get one of the cows into the pen, and the woman with the stick turns to face the next cow. With her back turned, cow number one pops back out onto the shoulder, and then they are able to herd cow number two back into the pen, who also pops back out just as they're bringing cow number one back again. One of them starts to get irritated and is running willy nilly about the road, snorting a bit, getting up quite a bit of speed. (This is where I get really scared, but the people wisely give this cow some room to express her frustration...)
And I continue to watch as they get one cow in, herd the second, first cow comes out, herd the third, second cow comes out, and they basically play musical cows for about ten minutes. I am reminded of times (yes, I admit it's happened more than once), when I pick up Tolliver, shut him in the bedroom, pick up Decker, open the bedroom door, lose Tolliver while I'm putting Decker in. Rinse, repeat, ad nauseum.
And finally, in the perfect, no-good-deed-goes-unpunished moment, Bill lost his phone (set on silent, OF COURSE) in the deep, snake-infested grass, and we admitted defeat after a few minutes of looking. The best part, though, was meeting the VERY NICE farmer who invited us for home-grown burgers any time. His gratitude at our assistance reminded me of how busy and into ourselves we get, and how so few people think to stop and help out. Ten minutes of our lives made a huge difference for him, and I got a fun story out of it too.
Oh, and we went back after the fireworks, in the pitch-dark night, called the phone, and its light-up screen led us right to it. Not bad for a day off...