Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Scarier than ghosts.
I'm used to being alone in the dark. It doesn't make me nervous. I don't imagine things, I recognise most night sounds such as mice, rabbits, birds and so on. A rustle in the grass won't faze me, the wind through gaps in stones won't make me jump. I've spent enough time lurking among dark ruins that, if I say so myself, it's hard to scare me now.
The photo, taken in daylight, shows a few local cows. They are dark brown with white markings, the white is on their faces, their underbellies and in some cases a few patches on the body and legs. If you haven't spent any time around cows you'll probably expect them to be lumbering, clumsy beasts, but they can move surprisingly quietly when they want. I remember one river-fishing trip where I checked behind me before casting and saw a clear field. Next cast, I checked behind again and there were a row of cows watching me over the fence. They weren't moving so I had to. I couldn't cast with them in the way. They hadn't made a sound.
Cows are inherently curious and will come along to see what you're up to if you're busy near their field. Sometimes they run, but they aren't charging. They're just racing for the best spot.
These particular cows live in a field well away from any streetlights but next to the site of an old ruined church. In near-total darkness, the dark brown bodies are invisible. The heads are so white they pick up every photon of moonlight.
As I said, it's not easy to scare me, but I have to admit that the sight of several advancing, silent, disembodied white cow-faces did the trick. Ghosts, I was expecting. Floating cow-heads, I was not expecting.
If there are any ghosts at that old church, I bet they're still laughing.