People may wonder what we do all day. My response is pretty much always, “Living the good life!” and it’s true. We do what we want, when we want. It’s the night time that is problematic, at least during this part of the season. Cows. Cows are the problem. During the rainy/growing season the cows are sequestered onto a part of the island so that they don’t trample the rice fields. Now that the rice has been harvested the cows are turned loose on the island to roam freely. Like gangs of vicious bovine militants.
These militant cows wander the what were recently luscious green fields of rice that are now harvested and empty except for the dry, brown, stubby stalks that remain. They will eat that but they do prefer the supple green plants like the ones we plant in our yard. Although we are separated from the fields by fences, the cows look for weaknesses and ram their way through. Sometimes there aren’t any weak points but they still just ram through calling out to the others, “MooOOOoo-ah” or “Hey, I found a way!” They do have bells attached much like people do to cats so you can hear them approach.
During the day we seldom see them but come the night they sneak around to all their favorite dinning spots of which we must be high on the list. All snug in the bed, around midnight I wake up to a “ting, ting, ting.” Where is it? In the front of the house or behind? I jump out of bed, bleary eyed, throw on some pants, grab the super bright headlamp and run outside. I can see their little beady eyes reflecting back at me like laser green fire. Each looking like the demons of the night that they are!
This time there are six of them out front cleaning up the rest of the banana trees that they nearly finished off last time! We had dozens of banana trees but with the end of rice season and the releasing of the cows they are mostly just nubs continually trying to come back to life. Thank goodness bananas are like weeds here and will return. The cows broke a tree as big as the calf of my leg down while we were gone to Thailand. It had started to miraculously grow back and now they have cleaned off all the new growth. Yummy. They trimmed the top of our New mango tree, also. I have since built a fence around it to help protect it. I hope they don’t knock it over. One year we planted a garden… six times. That year we fought cows and neighboring chickens in a battle that we just could not win.
Every night I wake up to, “Ting, ting, ting, ting. MOooooOOOoooo-ah”. ‘Mr. Hang’, the dog that hangs out with us and has adopted us as his people, is getting better at chasing the cows with me. I wish he would go ahead and chase them without my having to come outside in the middle of the night. Once I come out he takes off after them in a flash barking and chasing them around! I tell him “Good boy!” and give him a good petting when he returns.
One night I ran around out there in the field naked, chasing cows away. I figure if anyone else was up and watch, it must have been a pretty good show… leave a tip. I came in after a while and put some pants on, grabbed a rope and chased one quite a distance. I almost caught it. I had it cornered, throwing the rope at it’s head as it lunged threateningly at me. It faked a right and took off left through some brambles. I have previously told the owner of the cows that they had been eating my plants and that if I caught one I was going to eat it! He laughed at this, so I took that as approval.
“Ting, ting, ting, ting. MOooooOOOoooo-ah”. I’m gonna catch me a cow one of these nights!