Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Rage (violent, uncontrolled hatred and anger) (02/05/15)
- TITLE: Ambushed by Fifty Shades of Red
By Linda Germain
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To the back of the property was a large barn next to a muddy pond. We had been instructed, under threat of punishment, to stay away from the fly-infested pool of filth.
That was no problem. What little girl would want to get close to a place where cows stood knee-deep to drink, and probably added natural deposits to the nastiness of the brown colored water?
To keep animals in and kids out, a sturdy fence and old wood gate stood guard.
After Susan and I exhausted all the indoor games we knew, we banged on the piano until Mother used the time-worn command issued by parents for centuries.
“You girls go outside and find something to do!”
We felt obliged to whine as we headed for the screen door, “But what is there to do?” We heard no answer.
“And,” she hollered from the kitchen as we took off to find that elusive something, “don’t slam the…”
“I know,” Susan said, “let’s go explore the barn.”
At that time of day the cattle would be grazing in the field. They belonged to the owner and were not my family’s responsibility.
We took great care to avoid splinters as we climbed up and over the tall, extra-wide gate.
After we stopped to inspect the huge chunk of salt-lick (and I explained to her what I had been told about cows needing it to be healthy) we scampered to the imposing farm structure and peeked in the huge open door.
A terrifying sound from the depths of a dark corner stopped us in our tracks. It was so unexpected and explosive we grabbed each other’s hand and took a few wobbly steps backwards.
Susan’s body and voice seemed to tremble in sync, and yet, she was naive enough to ask, “Should we go in and look?”
All I could do was stammer and point at the snorting, bellowing, rumbling figure headed in our direction. It looked as big as Dad’s Oldsmobile and sounded as loud as an old pickup truck with no muffler.
Again, innocent as a city-bred baby, Susan whispered, “Oh, It’s just a cow.”
I yelled as we took off for safer ground, “NO! IT’S A VERY UNHAPPY BULL!”
I don’t remember which one of us screamed a seat-of-the-pants prayer as we fled from possible death.
“Jesus! Jesus! Oh, Lord…Save us!”
Why was that strange animal so angry? All we had done was peek into the barn and now he was barreling toward us with fire in his eyes, still making serious threatening sounds.
This time, there was no careful climbing of the gate to avoid splinters. We were up and over and running to the house so fast our bare feet hardly touched the ground. For one second, I dared to look back. He continued to snort and toss his head from side to side as if that would make the gate open and he could trample us.
We didn’t stop our great escape until we were safely hidden under big bushes in the front yard.
I gasped for breath as I warned my partner-in-crime, “We can’t tell anyone.”
She was crying, but managed to sniffle, “Wh…wh…why?”
“Because, we’ll be in big trouble.”
My reasoning was not based on any experience with the thundering pursuit of 2,000 pounds of raging bull in my short life, but I recognized the perfect ingredients for a stern lecture on staying out of dark barns, or poking at angry livestock, or climbing splintery fences while barefoot. The list was endless.
After we were able to breathe like normal little girls hiding under bushes, we made a pact to never, ever tell what happened. In our immaturity, we were sure we had caused this massive, irritated, fuming, bully bull to chase us with murder on his mind.
Chastised by our own foolishness, we crept back into the house, careful to shut the screen door with a gentle hand.
We heard a cheerful voice call from the kitchen, “Very nice, girls. Now that’s the quiet way to open and close a door.”
To our surprise, Mother smiled as she offered us a plate of fresh-baked cookies.
“Enjoy your treat. You’ve learned a valuable lesson today in obedience.”
We always assumed she meant the screen door thing.
*Based on my own true story
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