Horned Beasties Of The Traditional Kind

Brown highland cow with shaggy mane

My sixth form friends and I enjoyed saying ‘horned beastie’ so we applied the description to anything that might qualify. It provoked the parachutes of laughter that rewarded the slightest of quips.

For practical reasons, we were forced to extend ‘horned beasties’ well beyond the normal range of deer, rams or gnus which were in short supply in and around the ROSLA block. Typically, they were much smaller beasties, including some so small that we could barely see if they had any head ornaments to speak of. Antennae amply qualified, so the alarm call, ‘There’s a horned beastie on you!’, might be an alert for a wasp or an earwig (the alternative would have been truly alarming).

Were we fortunate enough to spot a lap dog wearing a wobbling headband – a red sequin ladybird bopper, say – or a teacher in a cow costume or a halloween devil, our delight at being able to deploy the term was beyond measure.

Three Highland cattle with large horns walking head-on

Perhaps because of those days, seeing a horned beastie that would qualify for the most stringent definition is always a thrill, even when the several of the best-equipped beasties you’ve seen for some time are walking towards you.

Luckily a very sturdy hedgerow stood between them and us, with a barred gate to see over. And they were more preoccupied with each other.

Highland cattle locking horns over an empty water station

While this picture uncomfortably seems to presage battles over resources, water and power being callously weaponised right now, in the relative safety of the Lancashire countryside back in midsummer, this meeting of minds worked out OK.

No horned beastie was harmed. The others drifted away leaving the one with the ring in its nose standing triumphant over an empty bath.

Highland bull with ring in nose and tongue slightly out

Every tousle serenely stayed where nature set it – dangling over the eyes.

Inspired by Becky’s WalkingSquares

45 Replies to “Horned Beasties Of The Traditional Kind”

  1. I love the first photo and your descriptive last sentence. I presume these were Highland cattle, or woolly moos as I call them. I’ve been told they are much more docile than other breeds of cattle but don’t quote me on that 🙂

  2. Oh they are beautiful beasties, I love them. Despite the horns they always seem more placid than , say , a group of fresians or Belgium blues. Horned beastie is a grand name for a wasp!

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