Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hold the bull by the horn? yea right

This is the part of the job that I can do without, well at least I could have done without on Tuesday afternoon. For those who don't know I am an agricultural extension officer in Dominica and my role is to provide support and technical services to farmers among many others and I specialize in crop production and project writing/management.

There is this clause, however, in the job description that says that an officer may be asked to undertake other tasks, from time to time, that are not mentioned in his job description. Oh how I hate this clause, particular when it deals with delivering veterinary services to animals, well not all animals, just cattle.

I am a small bodied individual of only about 140 pounds, okay okay, 135 pounds but I sometimes believe that I am the "Iincredible HULK." Why on God's green Earth do I think that I can tackle a 500 - 750 pound bull/cow is beyong me. Let me explain:

The Amblyomma tick situation within the Grand Bay catchment (south of Dominica) has been identified as an area of significant infestation and as a member of the Southern Agricultural Region I am called on, from time to time (hear it is again) to assist the veterinary officer in delivering ambulatory services to animals, particular cows which are most affected by the tick.

I have already had some bad experiences with cattle, well one bad experience, I was pulled, well actually dragged by a bull when I got tangled up in its rope a few years aback when we were working in the Grand Coulibri area doing surveillance.

But on Tuesday we were not doing any surveillance, in fact we were at a staff meeting when a farmer requested that we treat his animal, not for ticks but just a vacinnation. So being the nice person that I am, I decided to assist the veterinary officer. Everything went smooth with the first cow, well actually it was a calf.

Then comes the bull, lol, I am still laughing when I think of what happened. Okay so the bull started to misbehave, so we strapped it by the rope unto a papaya tree (why we thought a papaya tree could retrain a 750lb bull is beyond me). The bull then circled the tree a few times to really restrict its movement so I felt that all was clear and that it would put up limited resistance.

I grabbed the bull and held it by the nose ling or nose ring (not too sure what is the correct spelling) which is a tool used to subdue cattle by holding them in their nose. So the bull dipped it head to eat some grass and I felt in total control but everything changed suddenly. The vet officer then proceeded to inject the animal, which off course startled the bull. I know some of you are probably saying poor bull, but what happened next can only be described as unlucky me.

The bull then jerked its head forward and the horns hit me right in my left arm. A shot of electricity ran through my body and all I could do was run for my life. I ran towards a river, full of pain, screaming away, the bull just behind me but thanks God it wasn't really chasing me else I would have gotten really hurt. I started to tremble when I reached the river, sat down on a hot rock in the blazing hot sun but that was the least on my worries. I could hardly stand straight, I just sat down, head woozy, feeling helpless but all the time with the vet and farmers trying to calm me down.

I assured them that I would be alright (after a few choice words) and then I made my way back to the vehicle all weak and in pain. After all the calamity, we left and now all I have to show for my efforts is a night of pain and a red scar on my left bicep muscles. Oh and off course, my coworker bought me a Carib beer, lol.

Never me again...



Maureen said...

You crack me up...Seriously though I'm glad you are okay now...

Kereem said...

lol...good one Mr. Bull..I enjoyed reading your article very much sir..cheers