Bump in The Night

It was late when I had gotten back home from playing cards at my friend Liz’s house. It was about 1 A.M. and I had to work in the morning. My bedroom was on the first floor and as I was getting undressed I heard a strange noise outside. I froze. Oh no, I thought. Not again. We had been robbed almost two weeks earlier and I was afraid they had returned. I threw a shirt on and stealthily made my way up to my sister Missy’s room. I chose her because her room had the best vantage point to view the barns and driveway.

I quietly tried to rouse her. “Missy, wake up, someone’s outside,” I whispered. I was trying to be as quiet as possible and she bolts up in bed, snaps on the light and snaps at me. “WHAT?!”

“Ugh, turn off the light.” I said urgently, “there’s someone outside.” She quickly turned off the light, sensing the seriousness as she was a bit more awake. She heard it too; the smashing and rustling of objects. We tried to see what it was but we could see nothing. We could just hear the intruder.

We did what any teenage girls would do; we crawled on our hands and knees to my parents room to get my Dad. “Dad, someone’s outside.” He jumped out of bed, turned on the light, and he was pissed. He ran down the stairs, my sister and I following huddled together fearfully behind my father. He grabbed, (honestly, I don’t remember if it was a shot gun or a bat,) and a flashlight and headed out to the side porch. Scanning the yard with the light, my father must of seen someone and said “Dammit.” Missy and I looked at each other in fear. Oh my God, there was someone out there.

That’s when my father said, “Get your Mother and get out here and help me.” (Huh? What?)  He said. “Cow ‘s loose.” My sister and I sighed a collective sigh of relief. It was just the cow; not a crazed intruder intent on violating our domain. This was okay, but I think it might have been a less taxing night if it had been a bandit.

That cow, or more correct, that steer, was not in any mood to be caught and put back in the barn.

We got grain to coax him close so my Dad could rope him. Nope; that steer was like a college kid on spring break. He was not to be corralled. My brother, Richard had joined the chase. And it was fine chasing and cajoling him until he decided to head towards the road. Our road was beginning to get quite busy at all hours with the industry that was coming in and the turnpike entrance being nearby. My Dad was getting concerned and said he had to shoot him, before a car hit him. He told my Mom to call the cops to help so there were no human fatalities.

Well, the cops came. They shone there spotlights on the cow and my sister and I realized we had been running around in our shirts and lace panties. I figure we had to look like a bad version of Hee Haw to those officers. Missy and I went inside to put pants on.

As we came back outside, it happened. That steer ran into a Vega station wagon. It knocked the cow down, seemed to stun him quite a bit, but the driver I think was even more stunned as he stopped his car. The whole back panel was smashed in. We ran over to make sure he was okay. We said “We’re sorry, but our cow just ran into you.” He looked at us in such a way that you knew he had just closed down a local tavern. He just said, “A cow…okay…” He rolled up his window and drove away.

My Dad and Richard had roped the stunned steer and lead him back to the barn. The cops left, and we never heard from the guy in the Vega. I always wondered what happened the next day when he saw the back panel on his car. I wondered if he remembered anything about a cow.

We got electrified fencing after that.


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