Surburban Bovine

I live in a city. It’s a small city, but it’s a city. Most houses are on fairly small city blocks with the standard patch of green out the front and a rotary clothesline out in the backyard (It’s Australia, kai?). The city dwellings have your standard array of house pets and some people might keep a few chooks out back for eggs, but that’s kinda the extent of the bucolic incursion.  

We have some family friends who live on “West Hill” – a quite exclusive part of town – in a large two-story brick house (billiards room inclusive) with a manicured front lawn and carefully-tended garden plots. The most you used to see ambling across their grass was their English Setter.

Their lovely, but elderly, Setter died fairly recently, and, since then, they’ve been unexpectedly discovering interlopers trampling through their agapanthus. It seems that the neighbour who lives on the hill behind them is the proud owner (and poor fencer-inner) of a number of cows. Who knows what he’s doing with half a dozen cows on a property inside the city limits, but it’s perhaps better not to wonder.

So, apparently, when their puppy was alive she must have posed a menacing enough presence to deter any meandering escapees from trespassing and munching on well-watered lawns and lilies. Now, however, the only things that could conceivably alarm these intruders are the humans, and the cows seem to be entirely nonchalant towards them.

And, to add insult to injury, not only are our friends regularly having to shoo them away after discovering hunks of grass missing and bulbs strewn across their lawn, the cows are also leaving their calling cards… So, when our friends head out to the driveway in the morning to go to work, not only do they have to process whether they’ve had their coffee and put their face on, but, also, ‘Are my shoes going to end up in a steaming mound?’.

They called their neighbour to try and preclude any further ‘situations’ and managed to speak to the neighbour’s wife. Her response? “The cows aren’t my problem luv, yehs’ll have to speak to the husband ’bout that – they’re his ‘sponsibility.”

*sigh* It’s true, good fences do make good neighbours. 


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