Stand your ground

standground

Breathing of the bull, was getting heavier, louder, more agitated, more aggressive.

Sound of bells chiming like a swinging pendulum, as if coming from a giant gong, the wide open ocean thrashing its powerful waves filled the evening, the beach calm but alert, occasional motorbikes buzzing along the road far from the beach. I couldn’t figure out where the bell was ringing from; I stopped walking and listened to the sound, it was only chiming when the buffalo was moving, each chime in sync with the buffalo’s steps. I looked closely and saw this beautiful square bell around its neck, it was only on the dominant bull of the herd, the leader, leading the herd to the open sea.

As it was swimming, I took pictures of the herd; due to the sunset and the light coming towards me, the pictures came out dark and blurry. I dropped my bag, and went in closer to get a better shot, suddenly I see the herd swimming away from me, and returning towards land. The bull all this time kept an eye on me, it didn’t swim with the herd, rather it swam towards me. I quickly got out, and saw the bull standing knee deep on the water, and thought although it is aggressive, I can still outrun it. I carefully approached the herd, and took some pictures, all of a sudden the bull takes a couple of steps towards me, and I could hear the heavy breathing directed towards me.

The bull all this time kept an eye on me, it didn’t swim with the herd, rather it swam towards me.

standground2

Buffalo’s head are enormous, it bowed down and was ready to strike, you could hear it’s breathing from dozens of feet away. I kept on taking pictures, the bull again did a small charge towards me, it was only a very small distance. I felt my body trembling, an animal that weighs close to a ton, with it’s power and horns was enough to scare me. Although I was backing away, I was still pointing the camera, it warned me again, by stomping it’s leg on the ground, you could hear the thud of its hooves on the sandy beach, from it’s gigantic body, finally I put down the camera, took my bag and slowly walked away. As I was walking away, the herd had gathered close to the bull, and was going back to the ocean, however the bull was still in an aggressive stance, kept its eye on me, even though I was quite far away. I conveyed this story to one of the locals, who said I am fortunate, as the buffalo gave multiple warnings and could have easily outrun me and done serious damage.

the buffalo gave multiple warnings and could have easily outrun me and done serious damage.

It made me realize the behavior of a ‘wild’ buffalo, even though it was domesticated by locals, it had a different life, roaming freely around nearby forests, swimming in open sea, having very little in contact with other people. Contrast to what ‘industrialized’ farming has done, locking up giants in cages, with no or very little natural instinct. This is what the west has been pushing towards the east, commercialization and industrialization of every square inch of land they can find.

the west has been pushing towards the east, commercialization and industrialization of every square inch of land they can find.

Having this experience with a wild animal, made me realize how important family structure is, how important nature is, and how harmful commercialization is to society. Animals in nature, follow rules that govern how the whole ecosystem works, the bull had given me multiple warnings, it didn’t just get out of the water and charge me, even though it could, it allowed me to move away from the herd, it managed to keep the whole herd calm, it lead the herd away, and most importantly it taught me to ‘stand my ground’.

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