Sunday, November 11, 2007

Jingling Jerseys

One day, on our recent skite to the wilds of Northern Spain, we decided to visit one of Catalonia's National Parks. It was Tuesday, so, we knew we would have the mountains to ourselves. Always a tempting prospect. So, being Oscar Wilde fans in the temptation department, off we scampered. After 2 hours of uneventful driving we arrived at our starting point. Ready for the off.

It was a beautiful, bright, crisp morning. Ideal walking weather. The scenery was spectacular, the riotous, autumnal colours, a feast for the eyes. We passed 4 other people, 2 couples, obviously, just out for a short ramble. By midday, we hadn't set eyes on another human being for at least an hour. We had this corner of the universe to ourselves. Bliss.

But we were never alone. Everywhere, there were signs of nature's magnificence. The skies were filled with the ever-watchful birds of prey. Vultures, eagles, hawks and kestrels soared and glided, effortlessly, through the vast blue expanse. Just above our heads, an assortment of smaller birds, twittered and skittered, dive bombing us at every available opportunity, in a vain effort to despatch us back to the lowlands. Around us, there were vague scuttlings and scurryings. But ne'er a culprit to be seen. All of this was accompanied by the occasional jingle, jangle of bells. "Do you hear the bells?" I asked GB at one stage. "What bells?" he said. GB has a small amount of damage to his hearing. He doesn't hear grass grow, like I do. "Sh! THOSE bells!" He stopped walking and listened intently. He, like a lot of men, doesn't multi-task. "Oh yes, I hear them now. 'Tis a bit early for the fat man with the white beard and the reindeer, isn't it?"

Our walks are, invariably, peppered with intellectual conversations like this.

Within 2 or 3 minutes we happened on these beauties.

I love cows. I love the smell of them. I love their soft, liquid eyes and the slow, laconic movement of their mouths as they chew, endlessly. I'm in awe of their sureness. Their certainty, that they have as much right as the flamboyant fliers or the belligerent boars, the fleeing foxes or the hurrying hares, to exist, to chew, to watch and wonder at the passing parade. I love their acceptance. These noble creatures were more than content to spend their days munching and chewing, wandering and resting, jingling and jangling. Their bells were the only sign that they weren't as free as the birds of the air. I'm not sure they cared, one way or the other, about the bells around their necks or the freedom enjoyed by their feathered friends.

They, needless to say, weren't one bit interested in us.


crafty said...

Cows -are- lovely creatures. I once had a pet jersey cross cow, her name was Jolie, because she was just SO pretty!

Tracey Petersen said...

cows and dogs have eyes that see straight into your soul. I love them!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I get confused. Are you in Ireland or Spain? I thought you were in Ireland but had a holiday in Spain but perhaps I am wrong.

Anyway, interesting post. Looks beautiful there.

meggie said...

Those soft gentle eyes. I love them too.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

What a delightful post! You made it so real that I could almost hear the grass growing, too. And the cows looked just angelic.

You're so right that men are unable to multi-task. It's their wretched DNA, poor things. I don't see how they manage at all with so few channels working.