The wannabe lion and the toyi-toying cows

The mommy bushbuck is visiting for a snack. She rests in the shade of the milkwood tree, her head peering over the teak table, while her baby watches from close by.

I should be shooing them away – they’ll be eating my agapanthus next – but I don’t have the heart to do it. Instead, I hide behind the kitchen window and watch. It’s all quite idyllic.

Just dropped by for a quick bite

Suddenly, there is a movement. Here comes Isis along the path we’ve just built; she’s taking one slow step after the other. Good grief! She is actually stalking the buck. Isis may be a very small cat, but she’s also a very hungry lion (well, at least in her head).

And here comes Isis

Now Isis stands at the leg of the table puffed up to her full height – all 20cm or so – and the mother buck stares at her (she has to duck her head under the table to do this). I don’t hang around long enough to see who wins this staring battle, but I do notice the mother and her baby peeling off into the forest and then popping out in front of the house.

The baby watches it all

Seething mass

This encounter has delayed me a little. I get into my car for an infrequent trip “to town”. Barely 2km from home, I notice a seething mass of … something … stretching across the road in the stripy shadows of the exotic eucalyptus trees that line the road and make you dizzy, like a strobe light, as you drive past them.

The mass is moving towards me and there’s a man with a flag running ahead. As I pull my car to a stop, I think: who is toyi-toying (dancing in protest), and why? And where on earth do all these people come from?

Ahem. And then they come into view: not dancing and singing people, but cows, a large herd of them. Actually, I should call them cattle because I see some large horns, too. They stream past my car in quite a well-behaved fashion. 

I feel a little sheepish. But this little foray onto the planet of the animals has made me smile.

Fellow travellers on the road
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6 thoughts on “The wannabe lion and the toyi-toying cows

  1. Oh i just had to tell you about the swan and my cara! Cara is a very little cat – she was the runt and still is tiny. She also thinks she's a lion though and will fight any of the bigger cats in our neighborhood – and win! Yesterday a swan landed in our road, very odd, we are not near water and its in an estate… anyway cara stalks it then hisses at it (its MASSIVE) but then it hisses back and goes for her, she doesnt even flinch just hisses again and the swan backed down and flew away! I couldnt believe it! It's all about your self belief hey?! x

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  2. That's a fiesty cat, taking on a swan! Strange animals … mine (I am also bossed around by one called Angel) watch the hadedas, but won't dare challenge them. And the cats get watched by the hornbills! There seems to be some kind of pecking order …

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  3. The late great Rocket-the-Racoon-Cat would take on hadedahs in her youth. I once saw her pounce on one and hold tight. Of course, it took off, and she fell to the ground in a flurry of feathers, from about 40cm up.

    What did you mean by that "should say cattle" thing? Are you one of those townies who think that only bulls have horns? Cows have horns, Under the Milkwood – they are often just dehorned in calfhood for safety reasons. Of course, some breeds are naturally polled (google is your friend!), but then it is the cows AND the bulls that are so. <— Thus spake the Dairy Farmer's Daughter aka Lotusdrifter 🙂

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  4. Oh, you clever lotusdrifter! I am duly (and gratefully) educated. My farmer grandfather used to warn me that the animals would eat me on the farm in my "floaty town clothes" … a townie, indeed.
    PS. Your Rocket cat sounds scary!

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  5. I often marvel at the confidence of cats. I think we wimpy humans could learn a thing or two about self-belief from them sometimes. Last year, I watched in amazement as our dainty little cat, Grace, puffed herself up and chased a large, glamorous fox from our garden! He really was quaking in his beautiful fur, poor thing.

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