Friday

the Bull


They buried the new bull yesterday. A nice big fellow, bought for the serious sum of 2500, he had spent the week settling in, getting to know the herd. Then he disappeared. Or was thought to be disappeared when in fact he had been struck by lightning in the last bad storm.

I don't know what had happened to the old bull, the one the lightning-struck bull was to have replaced. I didn't want to know so I did not ask. I had come to enjoy him, his one-eyed, tattooed self. He seemed older maybe because he was always so calm, so deliberate in his movements. A black big fellow with the state of Tennessee outlined on his beefy side. I watched him with one of the cows not long ago. He started at her hoof, gently and slowly muzzling up her flank, around her tail and then down around her side. We think of their love-making as a quick thing but with him it was not. He was a lover, this bull.

The younger bull in the upper pasture, now he's another story entirely. He moans, bellows, slobbers and cries. Young Rimbaud must have know his type, having read what surely must be one of his most wonderful lines: "...my sad heart slobbers..." Oh that wild thing, that brilliant loverboy. He's right I think. The heart sighs, moans, beats fast and yes, slobbers. No wonder Paris hated him. And no wonder they cannot forget him

And I, will I forget the one-eyed Jack? I did not buy him. I did not feed him. I did not repair the fence that kept him. He was not mine. But still, I admired him. I watched him. I sat by him in the field that perfect day. I do not think I will remember him often. But no, I do not think I will forget him. One-eyed Jack, a Tennessee bull.