Our acreage on Oak Grove Road abutted Joe Harris’ property separated by a creek. Joe owned the Diamond Dot store on M59 in Howell and raised beef. We were told it was private property, to never trespass, so we were always back there. We often took “hikes”, would see Joe’s cattle and would taunt the bull to chase us. I have no idea why we thought that was a good idea. We would taunt the bull by jumping around, calling to him and dancing, and he lazily go back to his business of eating grass. Except one day when we were again walking away a disappointed.

It’s never a good sign when one of your buddies yells “HOLY SHIT!” and runs for their life. It’s all in the way they run. Not a jog or running to first base but an absolute panic complete with head down and arm twirling. I think of the line “I don’t have to run fast, just faster than you”. The rest of us looked behind we could see one really pissed off bull bearing down on us like a train. We all ran for the same tree. The guys taller than me, like all of them, grabbed the low hanging branches and swinging up, left exactly no branches for me. My brother Mike extended his hand to pull me up but I knew he would dangle me like a red cape in front of that bull. A huge branch of the tree was lying on the ground. It was just big enough for me to fit under. He chased around the tree to get me from one side and I’d slip under the branch. Then he’d go around the other side and I’d duck under the branches again. This stalemate went on much longer than was necessary. Bulls, like kids, may not be bright, but what they lack in smarts, they make up in sheer stubbornness. I got tired of this real quick but not enough to be gored by Mr. Bad Mood. He eventually lost interest and slowly walked away. My “buddies” got down from the tree and we decided our hike was over. Now we just had to walk by the bull on the way out.

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