Bull What???

I may have mentioned that I live in a rural town in Eastern Oregon.

How rural, you ask?

Well, we have a Starbucks so it’s not like I’m having to drive across the river in search of a latte. Still, there’s only one high school, although it is pretty big, about 1,400 plus students.

And one bull on the loose.

Yep. You heard me. A lone bull.

Melissa teaches PE at the high school. She was about to herd the kids outside when the boy’s coach called her aside and told her that they were going to have to keep the kids indoors. Not wanting to alert the kids to the hoopla going on outside at the track, he mouthed to Melissa that there was a bull on the loose.

A what? Melissa yelled. Did you say BULL?

Yes, he nodded.

Bulls are illiterate far as  I know. Maybe the bull misread the sign outside the high school. The one that says “Home of the Bulldogs.”

Thankfully, the high school is located on the same street as Hermiston’s very fine and capable police department. These are boys and gals who grew up watching the mutton-busters at the Farm City Pro Rodeo. They know a thing or two about bulls.

Like how to chase one down.

Melissa said the first officer on the scene pulled his patrol car right up next to the field — like he was going to block a whole field with one patrol car, she said. When backup arrived, the two officers attempted to tandem rope the bull.

There’s a steer roping contest at all the rodeos around these parts. Granted roping a steer is a bit less daunting that roping a bull, but technically the process is the same.

But there is a reason why rodeos don’t sponsor bull roping events.

Turns out it doesn’t work all that well.

Melissa said one officer would lasso a rope over the bull and then the other would. As soon as the second lasso hit that bull, he turned and charged one of the cops, always breaking free of one rope or the other.

After toying with the cops for awhile that bull grew bored. I reckon’ since it is track season after all,  he decided to go for a little jog.  Melissa said he ran right past her house and straight for town.

But he stopped short of getting there, took a detour at the Eastside Market instead, adding a whole new perspective to the notion of Bull Market.

Melissa couldn’t confirm it but rumor has it that Bull walked up to the counter and asked the attendant for a pack of Camels and can of Red Bull.

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About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • Barry Wiseman

    THAT is great. I grew up in a rural town, actually on a farm outside a rural town. And have lived in some rural towns as an adult. Have seen and participated in scenes such as this many times. Imagine a similar incident with a huge boar. I’d rather wrestle the bull!

  • John in PDX

    I love it when Karen reels off a good yarn. She can make sitting in sailboat going 5 knots exciting – which it can be – I just can’t put it on paper (Karen, don’t forget June 15).

    Oregon is the 10th largest state in the US.

    Just so you fine southerners don’t think that we have stuck Karen right in the middle of the Nez Pierce Indians without a paddle I would like to interject a few comments and insights. The Nez Pierce were the friendliest Indians Lewis and Clark ran into. The Indians even gave the expedition a few dogs and a horse to eat. I think they still would if you asked them nicely.

    Hermiston is the capitol of watermelons in the NW.

    Hermiston is a town. As of 2009 Hermiston had 15,329 residents and growing.

    Greene County Alabama had 8,800 people in 2009 and shrinking.

    There are at over 30 counties in Georgia that have less than 14,000 residents.

    The next town over is Pendleton. It has one of the oldest (1910) and biggest (over 50,000 attend) rodeo in North America. It was even featured in a Bugs Bunny Cartoon. The Roundup has team roping – one header – one heeler. These two pokes can take down a bull or a steer in less than 10 seconds – heck maybe these cops even participate every year. The Roundup has bull riding – that could have been an option. Or maybe they competed in the wild cow milking contest. Can’t be tougher than that. Don’t get caught at the Wooden Nickel after midnight, it can be a wilder than the Let Her Buck Saloon.

    Hermiston is hop, skip and a jump from the finest wines in the US – Walla Walla, WA. I love Leonetti’s voice machine “Hello this is Leonetti, we are sold out this year, next year, and the year after that. Please don’t call back” They also grow the best sweet onions in the US (no offence to the better known Vidalia’s).

    Where is the deepest canyon in the US? If you said the Grand Canyon you would be wrong. Hells Canyon is just a few miles east and it is the deepest.

    If Karen wants to get to a big weird city – Portland is 3 hours without a radar detector and 2:15 with one. She can have Voodoo doughnuts (maple bar with bacon) or a taste of the south at Pine Street Biscuits. Seattle is 4 hours away.
    Hermiston is so big – the last time I had dinner with Karen – I had to go to three saloons to find her.
    Rural Oregon would be Burns, OR. Don’t forget to fill your tank before you leave Burns.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      John: You are going to ruin my stellar reputation — telling people you had to bar hop to find me.

  • http://www.garynelson.wordpress.com Gary

    Funny! In Crossville this kind of stuff happens a lot. There is a guy here who works at the stockyard. Everyone calls him cowboy. Whenever there are farm animals or any kind of livestock loose or on the run, the police call cowboy and he comes out and rustles the animals up. I’ve asked him several times to let me do a story about him – but “He don’t want none of it.”
    Funniest call I remember was a pot bellied pig roaming along the Interstate! Cow walking through Burger King parking lot was a close second lol!

  • Diane

    Are you sure you’re not “BULL SH_TT_NG” us?? LOL

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Lawd, girl. Too funny.

  • http://wayiseeit-eleanor.blogspot.com/ Eleanor

    This just made my day. I never go to sleep without having at least one good laugh — thanks for giving me this one!

  • http://simplydarlene.wordpress.com/me/ Simply Darlene

    Oh my land, I have so much to say and it’s too late to put in a coherent order so I’ll just let ‘er rip…

    #1. Karen, I (aka A Simple Country Girl) first heard of you when you left a comment at Katdish’s last summer re: my fine investigative reporting skills concerning bare buns butler. You said something about finding me in Walla Walla and meeting me. Frankly, it freaked me out a bit, but I have been blurking around here and stopping by at All The Church Ladies and you don’t scare me so much anymore.

    #2. You don’t scare me so much because we have A WHOLE LOT in common.

    #3. When I was a little girl (alright, all the way until my son was born 7 years ago), I had dreams of becoming a bull-rider.

    #4. What help are those gloves going to provide the officer? I mean, really? A turbo stun-gun maybe, but latex gloves?

    #5. I think I know the wife of one of the bull-chasers. (small world, aye?)

    #6. I am the mamma of a mutton-buster… And that ain’t no bull. ;-)

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      SCG: Blurking around here is welcome activity. I remember writing that note and then never hearing from you and thinking, well, huh? Bull-riding is my favorite part of the rodeo. I don’t know why the gloves — the better to hold the rope? You should call that wife. Love those mutton busters. So cute. We really should have that coffee sometime.


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