Against the tide

Today am excited
It’s a Friday. …the day we take cattle to the cattle dip….Did I say we take cattle?
Figuratively yes….people including my mother take the cattle to the dip….Kids like me are not allowed there but we still go to watch. ..we sneak through the fence near the school and watch the whole fiasco

You need to see the structure
This wooden structure. ….soo narrow that only one cow at a time can fit through
Its sooo narrow that once a cow fits in…. there is no turning back ….it’s a one sided journey….. once you start the only way out is through the dip filled with water full of insecticide and come out on the other side
The cow must swim against all odds in the smelly water
Head barely above the surface and climb out through the steps on the opposite side to another narrow wooden structure that leads to this expansive drying area…..bliss!

The fearless cows are no fun
They jump in and calmly paddle to the other side….they cause no ripples
No one remembers them
I will not risk punishment for these tame cows

The fun is in the calves
The small delicate ones that are small enough to turn round and swim back in the opposite direction almost drowning in the deep end of the dip
They swim against the tide
What fun to see the dip attendant straddle the narrow ledge and literally drag the calves to safety!
It is even more fun to watch the grown cows and bulls that refuse to tow the line and get into the wooden structure
These ones run and jump and grunt against their owners….
Anything but to get into the straight and narrow

The fun and laughter is worth the punishment that will be meted on us by the class teacher when we walk in late

Well except for those days like today when a bull cuts itself lose and comes charging at us
The danger
The thrill
The fun in being defiant
In not conforming
In refusing to get into the narrow structure that is conventional living
The thrill and innocence of the calves swimming against the tide
The pain of being corrected and forced into the straight and narrow
And triumph of not getting caught
Life is a dip
The fun is in enjoying it differently


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