We booked a little ranch home on Air BnB so our boys could enjoy the great outdoors and some family time. We were assured it was a toddler friendly place. We were excited about their miniature ponies and private fishing pond.
Santa brought tackle boxes and fishing poles. I made sure we all had plenty of warm hats, coats, and gloves. It was the end cap to our year and the week of relaxation we all had longed for.
The day after Christmas we loaded up the car and headed north for our week together. The kids slept the whole way making it the longest “talk” time mom and dad had had all year.
We entered the home about 6 pm. Other than some unexpected stairs without railing and low cabinets full of chemicals and glass vases it was what we expected; Cozy home right next to the animals. It was dark upon our arrival, but as the sun rose the next morning, we could see a pasture of miniature horses not 30-feet out the back windows of the house.
The older boys and I threw on our coats and ran out to feed them; Leaving Dad and the babies to fend for themselves.
Our stay included a golf cart for the property. We met back in the house for breakfast and then headed out to see the place.
We stopped at the fishing pier with all our gear. The boys were eager to cast. As Charlie was baiting their hooks, I noticed we had attracted some live stock.
They had formed a semi-circle around the pier. It was a little unnerving since several of them were bulls, but they just starred us down and then went on their way.
The next day we went out again. This time the ranch hand met us out there. He said he normally feeds the animals there so guests can participate. Their greeting the morning before now made sense. He proceeded to feed them and they went running to him about 20 feet from us. Except one bull, Steak. For whatever reason, he never followed the herd. He steadily trotted straight to me with his eyes locked on me in an eerie way.
I was holding little Charlie (15 months old) and I had Lincoln (2 years old) at my feet and Jack (4 years old) slightly behind me. I’ve been to the rodeo 15 or so times. I’ve even enjoyed the extreme bull riding nights. I’ve seen a few bulls charge. This looked familiar.
Steak, the bull, was not near the size of those prize-winning bulls but as he approached 12-inches from me I couldn’t deny his strength. My first thought was, “so this is what it looks like right before you ride the forehead of a bull”. I tried to stay calm. I didn’t budge or make a sound. I tried to give him my best, “I’m here to be your friend” look.
Within 12 inches of me, he did that quick head nod thing they do when they are charging. I pivoted to run and felt a pop in my knee. I knew it was my meniscus. I felt how fragile I was in comparison to the beast on my heels. Two things entered my mind 1) can I reach that water before he hits me and 2) can I keep my baby from freezing to death (it was 38 degrees outside).
As a kid in Bible class, I was always impressed with the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den and how God closed the mouths of lions to save Daniel. I have often imagined how awestruck I would feel sitting in that den starring at the lions.
And just like that the bull stopped and walked away.
I have no explanation. I just know we walked away unscathed when in all my calculations we didn’t have a chance. I was bracing for impact and it didn’t come.
I realize how bad it could have been and I realize this was my “in the lion’s den” moment. Daniel was placed in the den for praying against the wishes of the King and saved by God for his righteousness. I haven’t done anything that noble or upstanding, but we experienced a similar miracle and awestruck is exactly what I felt.
I’ve watched bull fighters taken away on stretchers. I know the price paid.
It is safe to say I have now checked bull fighting off my bucket list… And just for my girlfriends, of course I fought a bull while protecting three children- I’m a woman!