The Cattle Guard

cattleguard2If you’ve never felt the need to test boundaries, then there is absolutely no reason to read any further.

You will never understand why I am confused by a cattle guard.

But if you have ever done something that went in the face of what is generally considered normal, then you will understand why every time I ride my bike on a certain road, I am confused.

There is a spot on that road where the only thing that separates me from the cows is a cattle guard.

The cows stand on one side, and I stand on the other side wondering why they don’t even attempt to cross. I’ve even crossed the cattle guard a few times, said hello to the cows then crossed back.

They never try to do the same for me.

I’ve been told cattle guards are constructed so the legs of the cows fall between the metal bars, which is what prevents them from crossing.

That still doesn’t explain why they never attempt to cross.

If I were  cow, I’d be standing on my tiptoes trying to cross the gate and make my way to the field across the road.  But then, I’ve spent most of my life trying to cross my own cattle guards, and most of those times, I’ve failed.

Generally, I’ve  only managed to get halfway across a cattle guard, but at least I tried. I’ve tested limits and questioned authority, and the stories and adventures will stay with me forever.

Standing in the same field for eternity and never trying to cross the cattle guard doesn’t make much of a story. Nor does it allow for any type of growth.

Maybe that’s why those cows never try to cross they cattle guard. Maybe they are programmed to grow physically but not intellectually or spiritually. Or maybe they are programmed more for fear than for adventure.

But I don’t think people are programmed in the same way, which is why I don’t understand why some people simply accept what they are told and never even attempt to cross a few cattle guards. Instead, they complain and never move forward.

Not me.

I may have bruises and scars from the cattle guards I’ve tried to cross, but that’s not stopping me from attempting to cross a few more.

The effort is definitely worth the pain.

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About Trina Bartlett

I live in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, with one dog, two cats, a daughter in high school, a son starting his latest adventures at West Virginia University and a husband who works strange hours. When I'm not working as a director at a nonprofit social service organization or being a mom, I can generally be found riding my bike, walking my dog and stirring things up.

Posted on December 1, 2013, in My life, perspective and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Cattle and horses don’t cross cattle guards because of FEAR. Most interesting is that I’ve seen cattle guards on blacktop roads that were simply white painted lines. Doesn’t that remind you of some human behavior?

  2. I understand the fear, but what keeps a calf from trying? Usually the young have no fear. Kudos to you too Trina for your courage in testing fate. I love this post.

  3. That’s what I don’t get. Do the cows have some kind of genetic memory? Do people? Do we fear what was a danger to our ancestors? The whole concept fascinates me.

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