The noise at the market was overwhelming, gates banging, stressed out cows mooing at their cubicle neighbours and trying to locate their relatives a few concrete stalls down, masculine farmers chatting away and the auctioneers rapid jabbering of numbers. As soon as we got there I wanted to leave. So did Rob. It was sensory overload, not just the noise but the smells too and the sights, looking for our cows amongst the stalls and spotting people we vaguely knew, trying to remember names.
Our cows are rather “precious”, having been pampered and groomed and out doors all year on lush grass. They aren’t used to concrete under foot or having people up in their faces. And they certainly aren’t used to be whacked and poked with a stick as the man in the ring was doing… He couldn’t hear my protests of “leave her alone” over the deafening auctioneer so I very nearly grabbed his stick to poke him back with it… I didn’t, instead I walked briskly away from the auctioneers stand and cried as he slammed the hammer down with a loud “SOLD” for our last and favourite cow.
Rob hugged me and reminded me to focus on why we were selling them.
I haven’t got a picture to go with this post – I haven’t taken it yet. Instead I am imagining all the pictures I will take when we are travelling: The Rocky Mountains, Monument Valley and Yellowstone in the USA; the forest and lakes of Canada; coral reefs in Australia, ancient cities of Europe; and a diversity of landscape in New Zealand that, as yet, I cannot even quite imagine.
Selling the cows was a horrid experience, but even the horrid experiences in our lives are usually pretty valuable ones and this one will certainly have been worth it when we take off.