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Friesians, or the cost of milk

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 32

Joe was a city bloke, milk came from a supermarket, smartphones from China and jeans from Taiwan, that's just the way the world worked.

So he was really surprised to be enjoying his weekend in the countryside, the locals were friendly, the food and drink was superb and the room was as bad as expected. If nobody has trade marked The No Power Shower yet then they should and Sky Sports yeah sure.

Anyway after a wonderful Sunday roast he mentions that he is going for a walk down by the river, the whole pub falls silent and an old bloke who has clearly been there for a hundred years says "It's Friesians' Day, so I wouldn't do that". Of course he wasn’t that concise, there were a few ohs and ahhs and the delivery was quite prolonged but I guess that you can imagine that part.

Assuming that this is a locals' joke he responds with "Don't worry I won't let myself get eaten" and exits before anyone gets a chance to reply, not getting that the reference was to dairy cows rather than beef cows.

Definitely tipsy, Joe walks along the river bank still smiling at the notion of a bovine family of 4 siting down to eat him and complaining that his rump was tough. He comes across a sign that says Danger, No Swimming and determined to show his respect for the Health and Safety brigade he recycles the liquid part of lunch over the base of the sign post.

After this victory for freedom he looks up and about 100 yards away some idiot is driving a herd down this narrow track. In the odd way that time sometimes passes quickly after a few drinks the herd was upon him and he notices something odd, there are a couple bulls, about 50 cows and around 500 newly born calves.

Without knowing how he knows he finds himself in front of a "family", one bull, one heifer and 10 calves. Looking at the bull all he can feel is rage, looking at the cow it changes to bewilderment and deep sorrow, and the calves are just confused, where is mum?

Taking a step back from this emotional onslaught didn’t help, the "family" moved slowly forward in that slow and unstoppable way that cows have. One more step back, and then another, and finally the next step has him toppling backwards into the river.

It was warmer than he had expected and as the current was taking him to the other side of the river he was quite happy to drift. As he drifted around the bend the reason for the sign became clear, there was this ruddy great big weir, the water sped up and the inevitable happened.

A few days later the local newspaper carried a story with an eye witness saying that she saw the deceased walking down by the river, he appeared to stop suddenly and started walking backwards as if being pushed, but she was too far away to help when he went into the river.

Some may say that this is a fair price…

Ghost, Spiritual Or Historic Stories For Pubs And Restaurants