Stay away you massive beast!

I was standing outside the barn on a rural Rushmore farmyard Monday afternoon when the 4-H’ers I’d planned to interview tried to settle down a beef heifer and get her ready for a photo.

The heifer, somewhere in between calm and mildly excited, moved a little too close toward me and I fancy-footed it into the barn, making it known to everyone within earshot that I was afraid of cattle.

I’m not sure who laughed more – the 4-H kids or the parents. I was too busy trying to get out of the way, and certainly I wasn’t afraid to admit my fear. Some say that’s the first step toward recovery, but I can tell you right now there is no way I will ever recover from the fear put into me by Big Red and various other beef steers that have tried to trample me to death in the past.

I seriously believe all beef cattle are out to get me. They know my fear.

Interestingly enough, this is the second time this fair season I have had to take pictures of kids with beef animals. I have one more interview later this week with a beef exhibitor, and I’m already dreading the photo session (mostly because that 4-H parent had to show me a picture of his daughter’s beef animal on his cell phone … and it is one massive beast!)

I think featuring beef animals three times this summer means I don’t have to photograph any beef animals next year. I’m ready to feature the more friendly livestock species (or at least those that can’t kill me) … rabbits, poultry, sheep and my ultimate favorite – goats, of course!

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