Kreative Kue 357 asked for submissions based on this photograph:
Look at all those idiot cows running for the hay. “Here Bossie,” they call and you would think these bovines never had a meal before. That old hefer with the bell is the worst. She goes clanging down the hill and the entire herd takes off like some one shot a starter’s pistol. Not me brother. There is no amount of that dry geen stuff that’s going to turn me into a galloping fool.
I have a certain degree of dignity to maintain. After all, I’m the youngest, and If I may be so bold, the smartest of the spring calves. That’s another thing. Those calves. You would think their mothers would teach them a thing of two. Oh no it’s like they are destined to be wild animals. Just the other day two of them jumped the fence and were found on the road. On the road mind you. The place with all those smelly metal cow flatteners flying by at break neck speeds. They were lucky the farmer got them back onto the farm.
Did anyone punish them. Oh hell no. Their mama’s cried buckets when they were reunited. If that had been me I would have been grounded for a month. Just shows how the neighborhood is going to the dogs so to speak. Ah, that reminds me. If that border collie snaps at me one more time, I’m going to give him a hoof he won’t soon forget. Damn thing thinks he owns the place. Always bossing everyone around.
Hmmm. I think I hear the old farmer yelling. Oh yes there he is down the hill cupping his hands and trying to be heard. It looks like he is yelling at me. Okay I’ll take a couple of steps to see what the commotion is about. That’s better now I hear him calling me home. Sure I’ll come home when you offer a little more than dried salad. What’s that? Did I hear him say grain? There it is again and this time I distinctly hear the word grain.
Okay then I have to cut this short. You see I do talk big when it comes to alfalfa but grain is a whole other story. If you will excuse me I need to get going. I guess I better signal that I’m on my way. See you all later.
My effort was:
A long, long time ago, November of 1959 to be exact, when this scribe was a mere ten-year-old boy not yet graduated from shorts to long trousers – a progression that wouldn’t occur until his thirteenth birthday – a young Cockney rock and roll star cum actor by the name of Tommy Steele released a record. The record’s A-side was Little White Bull, a song that young Tommy had sung in the film Tommy the Toreador, a musical comedy in which he had starred alongside big names of the day such as Sid James, Bernard Cribbins, Eric Sykes and Kenneth Williams. The record eventually reached number six in the UK and number three in the Irish top ten. Tommy donated his royalties from the single’s sales to the “Variety Club of Great Britain fund for a cancer research unit for children”. Nothing to do with this story, but nice to pass on anyway.
The premise of the song was that the little white bull was seen as an outcast and a coward simply for being white. Only black bulls ever entered the bullring, only black bulls ever fought. The poor hero of the ditty was excluded from the competitions by reason of his colour (although why he would want to subject himself to the degrading and cruel practices of bullfighting is beyond me). Finally, after a lot of practising and exercising, the determined little white bull made his way into town and into the bullring where the crowd laughed at him and ridiculed him. He pressed on, however, and was finally declared by the toreador to be a brave and a great little bull, the best in Spain.
That was 1959.
I wonder whether, four years before Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I have a dream’ speech, this song represented an attempt to address the evil of racism – starting, as it does, with the premise that the hero was the wrong colour to take part in the contest and that there was nothing he could do to change his colour, and ending on the positive message that his colour was an irrelevance, that his spirit and determination made him the equal of any bull born with the ‘correct’ exterior appearance.
If that is the case, then Little White Bull, which with its B-side Singing Time was described in contemporary music review outlets as “a jingly novelty ballad with Tommy using his Cockney accent for the title phrasing” (Disc Magazine, 14/11/59) and as “easy-to-listen-to numbers, especially Little White Bull, which has a Children’s Hour flavour about it” (Melody Maker. 7 November 1959), may still have something to say to us more than sixty years later.
Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at email@example.com before 6pm on Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.
Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next time.