Many years ago I was supervising a day shift when a call came over for an overturned cattle truck with driver and cattle trapped. My car crew were out doing another job so it was up to me to attend as an alpha unit. I drove directly to the scene where I was greeted with an overturned double decker cattle truck with a mixture of trapped, roaming and injured stock. I climbed onto the cabin of the truck and spoke briefly to the driver who was thankfully conscious and not massively injured. It was an easy job in that rescue would free the man and the copter would transport him and the heavy vehicle towing contractor would remove the truck and trailer. An easy job or so I thought.
I was approached by a cattle hand who wanted to release the beasts so that they could assess the stressed and injured animals. It was an easy and good idea as the truck had slid sideways into a paddock which gave the cattle somewhere to roam on release. This went smoothly until I was approached to destroy an injured steer. This was not a problem as I had destroyed cattle before. My casual approach to this job was about to change. The cattle hand pointed across the paddock too the three legged cow. I groaned inwardly and straightened my shoulders, my kills had always been an already downed animals. The cow hand and I trudged across the dusty paddock a good 200 metres to where the three legged cow stood, its fourth leg was broken and dangling. I got as close as it would allow, took aim with my firearm and just as I was about to let off a shot, its head ducked down and it charged me. Well the cow hand and I took off where he hid behind a scrap of a tree and I behind a knee high pile of hay.
The steer came to a stiff three legged halt in front of me and my crumbling knee high bale of hay staring at me indignantly. It was a mexican standoff. We eyeballed each other as I took aim and KABOOM, I let a shot off. My ears were ringing, there was dust everywhere as I wildly tried to assess what the hell was happening. As the dust cleared I found I was faced with my very much alive and pissed off three legged beast. The eyes were rolling, nostrils flared, ears twitching (that was just me) as I slowly realised Id shot the animal in its good leg. The demon beast lowered its head and charged me again on its two good legs and its bleeding third leg. It barrelled at me mowing down my bail of hay as I took off dodging the murderous beast and throwing myself behind a tree, letting a couple of shots off as I went. The brave cow hand was now clutching his tree howling with laughter as the said “waist high yearling… I mean demon possessed steer ‘ finally kicked up its three legged heels and took off way down the paddock.
Completely shattered I leaned against a tree covered in dirt and dry cow poo with bits off straw sticking out of my hair. The giggling cow hand said he would get ‘Old George’ to come and finish the animal off. I wearily nodded in agreement. A short time later old George showed up in an old ute which bounced across the paddock to where it stopped not far from the demon beast which was now ten foot high, had six horns and snorted fire. Now, Old George would have been 100 in the shade as he shuffled out of the ute with a .22 rifle which weighed more than him. He dragged up the rifle and rested it against his thin frame, took a very wobbly aim at the 15 foot high two headed red eyed beast and with a single CRACK, dropped the demon cow into the dirt…. dead. Old George hobbled up to the beast, hogged tied it to the back of the ute which a short time later was bouncing along the paddock with carcass in tow.
Now to add insult to injury, my entire escapade was witnessed by the rescuers, other cowhands, my car crew and bystanders whom all applauded appreciatively.
I am still in cow therapy.