Friday, August 7, 2009

Cottage tales (or tails?)

The “morning dock” at our family cottage is at the base of a small bluff accessed by about a dozen stairs. As I once savoured the solitude of sitting there watching a summer sunrise, I was startled by a thundering noise approaching me, the ground trembling. I leapt to my feet to see a herd of cows charging for the steps. I screamed. Equally shocked, they seemed to screech to a halt, like cartoon characters. Heart still pounding, I shooed them away.

Cows at the cottage? Yup! I mentioned in my last posting that there had once been a farm on our island. There is still a meadow in the centre, and heifers are brought over every summer to graze there. Of course cows have no respect for property, so they wander where they will, and many cottagers have put up electric fences to keep them away.

 My brother and his family once awakened to what they thought was an earthquake, as the cottage was shaking. They quickly discovered that several cows had gone underneath and were scratching their backs on the beams - the building sitting on concrete tubes that left them just enough room to walk beneath. We now have screening around that.

 Another time, one of the clever beasts managed to turn on the outdoor faucet so that they could all drink. Who said that cows were dumb?

 Lately, there have also been bulls on the island. They are more of a concern, since they have been known to chase cottagers out for a stroll. It gives new meaning to being cautious about the “wildlife”!

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