A good portion of the blogs that I read include content full of hilarious childhood stories. (My good friend Jessica is the first to come to mine when I think of this.) I've realized that I don't think I have ever shared a tale from the yester-years here at Miranda Writes, and that's a shame because I have some pretty good ones. So today, I'm going to take a little stroll down memory lane and bring all of you along with me.
I grew up in an extremely rural, small-town area on the Gulf coast of Florida. I was raised on a dirt road in the middle of the woods. To this day, there is no cell phone reception or Wi-Fi availability in the area. My "neighborhood" consisted of (and still consists of) 80 acres of heavy woods, pastures, and creeks. It's beautiful, and peaceful, and if I could go back and choose someplace else to live as a kid, I wouldn't. I loved growing up out there. Every person who lives on that dirt road is related to me, therefore there was a strong sense of family and community. Plus, I have some pretty fond memories of running around barefoot and racing bikes and go-carts up and down that sandy road. I often wish I could go back.
My grandparents lived just a hop, skip and a jump away from my house. I was over there every chance I had, because that's where I could swing and play in the sandbox and bother Granny and Grandpa as much as I wanted to. Their back yard is where the incident I'm about to tell you about occurred. I was about four or five years old at the time, which means I looked something like this...tie dye shirt and all. (The baby is my cousin Shelby, not my brother by the way.)
Granny and Grandpa used to raise cows. They eventually built a pen to keep them in, but at this particular point in time, they allowed them to wander around the pasture and into the backyard as they pleased because there were only three...two female cows and one male bull. My parents and my grandparents just made sure to constantly remind me not to try to pet them, or even get too close to them. I also wasn't allowed to just play around in the backyard without someone watching me. The cows would typically stay to themselves anyway, but it's better to be safe than sorry, right?
The backyard also happened to be home to the best swing ever. I absolutely loved to swing when I was a kid. When my brother and the rest of my cousins got old enough, an actual swing set was built, but when I was four I was the only grandkid old enough to play outside. I was the ruler. (Do any of you other "oldest" children feel this way. It's nice to be in charge, don't you think?) Anyway, so, instead of a swing set, there was just a single swing between two trees in the backyard. My swing. No one else was ever able to claim authority on it.
Well, on one of the many days that I was at my grandparent's house, I asked if I could go outside and swing and Granny told me yes, that she would keep an eye on me through the kitchen window and to make sure that I stayed in sight. So, I was outside, pumping my little chubby legs, just swinging my heart out, when the back door flies open and Granny comes out onto the porch. She looked a little nervous, and I now know it's because she was trying to stay calm. The conversation probably went something like this.
"Randa, stop the swing and walk, don't run, to the door."
"But I'm not ready yet!"
"Miranda, please, just stop and come here now."
"Just do it! Stop quickly and come here."
So, I made a big, pouty show of dragging my feet through the dirt to stop the swing and sat there for a couple of seconds, being the epitome of a four-year-old drama queen.
Granny called from the porch, "Miranda, COME HERE, and don't look behind you."
What's a kid going to do when they're told NOT to do something? They're going to do it of course. Therefore, I slowly turn around, and what do I see just a few feet behind me?
The bull. The big, snorting, frightening bull...raking his hoof across the dirt, ready to charge.
My chubby little body had never moved so fast. I was off that swing and running to the door faster than lighting and that bull was coming behind me. It felt like slow motion. My arms were pumping, my sweaty bangs were sticking to my forehead, and my bare feet were stumbling over every little bump. Honestly, the Rocky theme song should have been playing in the background. Nonetheless, it wasn't a very long distance to run (even though it sure felt like it), and I made it safely in plenty of time.
That didn't stop me from telling everyone that I almost got trampled by a rogue bull though. You know how it is...just gotta keep it real.
Moral of the story: swings and free-roaming bulls do not mix.