HEADING HOME

One of my readers mentioned the other day that I have been very quiet about the Urban Herd. Interestingly enough, there was no sign of cattle in town for the first few weeks of lockdown. I  mainly drive to the supermarket and back, yet even that short trip used to yield sightings of them in the road. I frequently spotted a herd on the grassy hill opposite to where I live and the (mainly) cows would walk past our gate and often settle on the lawn below our house. There was nary a sign of them.

Weeks have turned into months … the Urban Herd is back. I see them on the hill opposite now and then; sidestep the evidence of their passing on the street; hear their lowing occasionally; and today there were about fifty of them on the outskirts of town. Here are the first few of many heading homeward – wherever that may be – at the end of the day.

17 thoughts on “HEADING HOME

    • One does get so used to seeing cows in the street that we actually missed them for a while! The Eastern Cape statistics are levelling out at last, thankfully and while we have had a fair number of cases across the board, the town has not fared too badly. Most people wear masks when out shopping, which helps enormously.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza, you cannot help seeing things from the perspective of what you know: if only these cattle had barnyards! You see the built-up area on the hill in the distance? This is where these animals hail from. There are swathes of open (common) land on the other side for the owners to graze their cattle on. Some do, but most prefer to let their animals roam through the more established suburbs to graze on grass verges (that were extant before the long drought), hedges, over-hanging branches of trees and flower beds. It began with a handful and now these herds (all in very good condition) have expanded to thirty or more. The ownership of cattle is very important for some as they are used as a bride price (lobola) and are slaughtered on special occasions. The ownership of cattle has also long been a measure of wealth – which is possibly why the municipality fails to do anything about their presence in the town.

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      • You’re right – it is a whole different cultural way of doing things. ‘Ownership’ takes on a different meaning here, it seems. However, I imagine it is tough, not to mention frustrating, when these herds browse your yard, with no recourse or compensation.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know where they were kept at the start of lockdown or why. Along with this particular semblance of normality comes the lapse into other ‘normal’ behaviours that serve to extend the lockdown restrictions. On the brighter side, it is strangely comforting to recognise individuals among the Urban Herd – especially to see how the calves have matured in the intervening months. My farming background comes to the fore …

      Liked by 2 people

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