A Special Edition: Hippopotamus, Cows and Bear, Oh My

The joys of the penning the written word might resemble wanting a hippopotamus for Christmas—it’s all about the journey. Because of several goals I set for myself this year, my time spent penning original short stories about Richard and Fannie for this blog appeared almost non-existent.

Well, I wrote two.

The rest of the time my pen and I entered five literary contests. And spent some time on a book proposal which is now sixty percent complete.

My husband and I traveled for work most of the month of September.

On a ranch in Montana on the border of Wyoming along Interstate 90, we spotted a small black Angus calf about a mile from the freeway. It trotted from the far side of a rolling hill covered in long, golden grass. Sage brush sprouted in clumps over the hill in the manner of discarded litter. No clouds. The sun cooked the air to a little over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32+º C).

The calf turned back in the direction it came from. It gazed down the hill. Turning on a dime and popping the clutch, it went from zero to maximum warp.

Something was wrong with the way the calf ran. My husband pulled the car over to the side of the road. Seven black Angus steer crested the hill. The calf looked over it shoulder, then in our direction, about a half mile from our position. The calf transformed into a 300-pound black bear.

It slowed at the base of the hill and trotted across the open field toward the barbed wire fence a mile ahead of it.

The steer, each twice the size of the bear, broke into three groups. Two stopping about one-third of the way down the slope in a tight formation. The next two slowed about three-quarters of the way down the hill and trotted to a stop about twenty feet apart. The final three steer picked up the pace, the lead steer bugling.

The gap closing, the last three steer spread out like the Seattle Seahawks defensive back line.

The bear kicked in the nitrous. Outpacing the steer—perhaps taking inspiration from Usain Bolt—running straight for the barbed wire fence. In a fluid motion, it flattened onto its belly. Speed crawling under the fence like a rabbit running from a fox. No lost fur.

The bear came to a stop twenty yards into the next pasture. It looked over it’s right shoulder. His breath in quick spurts.

The lead group of steer slowed to a trot about 100 yards away. Closing the distance.

The bear trotted the last three acres. Stopped and looked back.

The lead steer bugled. It stood thirty feet from the fence. The rest of the steer fanned out behind him.

The black bear cleared the next barbed wire fence. It disappeared into a glen of green leafy trees.

We pulled back onto the freeway.

Behind the hill, the cows formed a defensive circle around the calves.

Cow survival strategy.

As bloggers, we all have different reasons for blogging, but we’re in this together—wanting our own hippopotamus for Christmas.

Just make sure you watch the sides of the road for bears in cow’s clothing . . . .

Dream big. Try different things. Build your space. And invite us over for a visit.

Until next week.



About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
This entry was posted in Humor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Special Edition: Hippopotamus, Cows and Bear, Oh My

  1. Liz says:

    loving your perspective. I’d invite you over, but thinking you’re already a regular 🙂 Bears, huh?


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