The only exercise that will be logged at the end of this day is the short walk my parents, J and I took this morning and the kind our jaws will be doing tonight at an Asian restaurant of our choice. The walk this morning meant adventure, peril and muddy shoes. So now we're hungry.
Sandsjöbacka is a nature reserve south of Gothenburg. I've run parts of it a couple of times before (once on the day I got runner's knee) and I really love the moorlands that are covered in heather and cow dung. If it weren't for the traffic noise from the nearby E6, you'd think you're on another planet.
We climbed up the hill, crossing puddles of mud from the recent rain and avoiding the fresh patties from the brown beasts. I was as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning; I like cows and the idea of photographing them on such an alien-looking landscape. Our first encounter with one was a bit frightening, though. She walked past us moaning like a ghost, away from the herd and toward an unknown destination. Mad cow disease?
I happily snapped some pictures, loving the yellow-brown backdrop of dried grass against the earthy colours of the cows. Some calves seemed curious and approached me carefully. Oh how I longed to pet one and take it home with me to love forever. I crouched down to make myself look less threatening and to ensnare them to come closer so that I could lock my arms around them in an affectionate hug only boa constrictors can administer, but they didn't dare. Every time I turned my camera around to take a photo, they ran away.
Finally, as I was completely focused trying to take a picture of a brown calf, a big motherf-, I mean a big mother cow apparently thought -for some strange reason, I don't know why, I mean it's completely incomprehensible, mad cow?- that I was going to steal her calf and charged me. I was blissfully unaware of the fact, while my parents and J, about a hundred metres ahead of me, watched in terror as this scene unfolded before their eyes. They shouted out to me and I got up, just in time to see 500 kg worth of cow rolling down the hill towards me. I bull-headedly (ha ha) stayed put and turned my camera towards it to scare it off, but -as I realised almost too late to my horror- that this little trick had no effect on the more experienced grown-ups of the species.
Peaceful creatures my arse.
I turned tail and fled. Getting run over by half a ton of cattle is not the most honourable way to die and, besides, as I tried to tell the cow, I am a vegetarian! I'm your friend! Let's settle our differences like adults! While I was busy fleeing, I almost collided with another cow that had sneaked up behind me (I was getting surrounded by the friendly little brutes, slowly but surely, I know I was) but which was thankfully not as murderous as its cousin. It just looked at me threateningly with its big brown bovine eyes and watched me as I quickly made my exit. I'm pretty sure I heard it snicker as I almost tripped over myself trying to get out of there.
The rest of the walk was carried out in a respectful distance from the creatures, taking large detours (and often bushwacking) to avoid them. Who would have thought cows are so territorial?
The things I do for my art.