Aggressively curious steers at Great Bedwyn

It was our anniversary, and Sheila made reservations for dinner at The Three Tuns Freehouse in Great Bedwyn, a small village on the River Dun, the Kennet and Avon Canal, and the Reading to Taunton rail line. While its roots date back to Saxon times, it is largely a quiet 19th and 20th century village of red brick-, thatch- or tile-roofed cottages. St Mary’s Church, built on the remains of a Saxon Church dates from the 12th century. We arrived early to stroll the village, down to the canal, back across the railway, and through St Mary’s Churchyard before dining at the local pub. The walk was quiet and peaceful until I wandered into a pasture to photograph St Mary’s. A herd of steers took an interest in me and came, at a trot, to investigate. To say they were inquisitive would be an understatement: the lead steer came up, smelled me, and nudged me, quite forcibly, with its forehead. It would not back off until I smacked it on the snout with my fist, and then only about 4 feet. As his friends gathered about, I began a strategic retreat to the churchyard, followed by the herd, eventually forming a single file behind me. If I stopped, they stopped, if I advanced on them they would back off but resumed following as soon as I turned my back. I wasn’t afraid of an attack, but the thought of being pushed off my feet and surrounded by a herd of steers was intimidating and I gained the churchyard with some relief. As we explored the churchyard, I noticed the herd trotting towards an elderly lady and her dog. I was about to try to distract the herd when she reached a gate. I learned later that attacks and accidental injuries and death by cattle on public foot paths are not uncommon. After this, dinner at a near-empty pub was a little tame.
A Sense of Place:  Travel, Photography, and Photo-art
by David E. Moon
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved
Slideshow Slideshow

Aggressively curious steers at Great Bedwyn

It was our anniversary, and Sheila made reservations for dinner at The Three Tuns Freehouse in Great Bedwyn, a small village on the River Dun, the Kennet and Avon Canal, and the Reading to Taunton rail line. While its roots date back to Saxon times, it is largely a quiet 19th and 20th century village of red brick-, thatch- or tile- roofed cottages. St Mary’s Church, built on the remains of a Saxon Church dates from the 12th century. We arrived early to stroll the village, down to the canal, back across the railway, and through St Mary’s Churchyard before dining at the local pub. The walk was quiet and peaceful until I wandered into a pasture to photograph St Mary’s. A herd of steers took an interest in me and came, at a trot, to investigate. To say they were inquisitive would be an understatement: the lead steer came up, smelled me, and nudged me, quite forcibly, with its forehead. It would not back off until I smacked it on the snout with my fist, and then only about 4 feet. As his friends gathered about, I began a strategic retreat to the churchyard, followed by the herd, eventually forming a single file behind me. If I stopped, they stopped, if I advanced on them they would back off but resumed following as soon as I turned my back. I wasn’t afraid of an attack, but the thought of being pushed off my feet and surrounded by a herd of steers was intimidating and I gained the churchyard with some relief. As we explored the churchyard, I noticed the herd trotting towards an elderly lady and her dog. I was about to try to distract the herd when she reached a gate. I learned later that attacks and accidental injuries and death by cattle on public foot paths are not uncommon. After this, dinner at a near-empty pub was a little tame.
A Sense of Place:  Travel, Photography, and Photo-art
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved
Slideshow Slideshow