I'm a loner when it comes to running. I'm not a pretty runner. I sweat, clomp, and probably look more like a wounded brontosaurus than a gazelle, even when I'm sprinting. (Mr. Tejano says that's not true, but in my mind it is.)
For that reason, my favorite place to run is through our back pastures, where there's nothing but the breeze, the coyotes, some javelinas, a snake or two, and the cows.
Most of those tend to leave me alone, except for the cows. They've taken to chasing me wildly whenever they see me anywhere near them.
It usually plays out something like this. I'll get past the first mile, close to where they're grazing. A few will pick up their heads as they notice me, start to move, then start to jog. The jog turns into a flat out run, with udders swinging, grass flying from mouths, and eyes agape. The other cattle and calves take up the chase as the leaders pass them. The bulls usually take up the rear.
I have no idea what they are thinking, but soon the whole herd is running as fast as their cloven hooves will carry them. I hear the stampede behind me, stop, and turn and look at them. They skid to a halt as the dust they've stirred up settles over them. They bump into each other, with many in the rear mooing their complaints. As I turn to look at them, they whip their heads around to look behind themselves, as if to say, "What... us? We weren't chasing you."
Almost sheepishly, with grass and greenish foam dripping from their mouths and sides heaving, they next look at each other as if to question, "Why did you make me start running?"
The bulls in the rear turn around as if they had no part in this female nonsense.
These are not tame cows by any means, but I know they won't hurt me intentionally, so their consternation always makes me laugh.
Perhaps they think I am one of them. Except my udder is not swinging (thanks to my good sports bras) and grass is not falling from my mouth. Who knows what goes on in the mind of a cow?
Here in South Texas I may not get to dance with wolves, but I darn sure tootin' get to run with cows.