L’Escapade: Episode 6

A bit of a scary moment.

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One day I went for a walk around some of the villages and quite country roads nearby. It was a dry, bright but cold day. I took the camera and stopped frequently whenever I saw a photo-op. Normally walking alone in the countryside is something I really enjoy. I used to do it a lot around Buckingham. Being aware of possible dangers, I always have my phone and a loud whistle with me.

On this occasion, when I was about half way round the circular route, on a particularly quiet, single-track road, I had cause to feel a little apprehensive. I’d just been past a very large, newly built wooden barn/milking-parlour. I was amused by the small calf peeking at me though the bars of the gate while the bottoms of the heard of cows behind him were all lined up at the trough. Sadly he’d disappeared before I’d switch on, focused and removed the lens cap.

Shrugging at a missed opportunity, I walked on. I’d only gone 100 meters or so when I heard a vehicle behind me. The old pick-up went past but stopped 50 meters down the road. The two men got out. Walked to the back of the truck and stood there facing me as I walked towards them. All kinds of thoughts were racing through my head. Were they just curious about who I was? Was there a particular question they would ask me? Would I be able to answer in good accurate French without any problem? OR should I get my phone out and start speaking to John in case they attacked me and he would be able to hear my cries and call the Gendarmes?

As I got closer, I could see them looking at an open gateway to a field beside them. Leaving the younger man in the middle of the road, the old man got back in the truck and drove off down the lane, turning into the next field and circling round behind the first field. More puzzled than ever, I tried to maintain my pace. I came level with the young man, probably not much more than late teens. We made eye-contact, and both nodded “Bonjour”. I kept on walking.

Only a few paces further on I heard the strangest sound behind me: a kind of tapping/rattling/clopping noise. I looked round to see a woman with a bucket, obviously containing some sort of dried food, trotting down the lane, followed by three huge bulls! She was guiding them from the barn to the field where the truck driver now was, via the field with the open gate. The young lad had been positioned as a road block to divert them into the gateway. Relieved to have been beyond the danger zone of the bull-run and glad the men’s strange behaviour had a perfectly good cause; I got out the camera, as quick as I could, to get a snap.

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This blog is based on truth but for privacy and security many of the names have been changed and some of the story may be embellished at times for dramatic effect.

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