Sunday, March 24, 2013

Grandmother's footsteps

Who remembers this game from childhood?  In England, the game is either called "Grandmother's Footsteps" and sometimes "Statues" where the person who is "it" turns to make sure that the players are not moving if they hear movement, or it's called "Mr Wolf's Dinnertime", where "Mr Wolf" has to try and catch anyone moving - if "Mr Wolf" cries 'dinnertime' then s/he has to race everyone back to the start line, trying to catch as much 'dinner' as possible.

So what's the connection between a game and a cow?  Its back to the farm in Somerset again.   It was a dairy farm and I rented a cottage on the farm smack dab in the middle between acres of cow fields and hay barns.  As a result, there were lots of cows around and close to the house...sometimes too close.

When the heifers (young cows) were in the field and I had to cross it for whatever reason, they would, as a large group, follow me, presumably thinking I either had food or were taking them somewhere.  They would tramp along behind me, running to catch up and I could hear their heavy breath and loud footsteps. It was like being followed by an army! I often wondered if I'd get trampled in the herd.   However, if I turned to face them, they'd all freeze, mid stride, as a group and wouldn't move a muscle until I turned to walk again.  It became a bit of a game with them at times seeing how many times they'd stop before I got to the fence and scrambled over, leaving them looking a bit perplexed.

I have to admit I felt a bit uncomfortable with them all behind me at times, as they'd get closer and braver as we got nearer the fence.


"JeanneG" said...

This gave me a good chuckle.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Lovely cow and story.

Jeanette said...

Good to know Jeanne. The cows amused me endlessly. :)

Thanks Gwen. I have a thousand stories in me from my time in the UK.

Celeste Bergin said...

fabulous story...! I lived in Illinois during my young years and we too had cow "neighbors". Funny how intimidating they are simply because of their size. Your cow drawing is very beautiful. I really love cows....maybe because I grew up "with" them.

suzanneberry said...

Great Post!!! and lovely sketch! i love your analogy!

RH Carpenter said...

Great cow sketch and funny story - I could see it in my mind as I read (perhaps an illustrated story is on your plate for your next project?)

Jeanette said...

I always loved the shapes of cows and they were amusing neighbours for me and the kids on the farm Celeste.

Suz, thanks. I know, I need a life right? Playing games with cows... ;)

Oh it was unique Rhonda lol. Who knows perhaps a story and some sketches with it may come one day.