I think I'm going to take some time over the next while to tell some stories about what has happened in my former parish. Most of these will be humorous events that have taken place.
One such story deals with my friend Fred. I had made it a habit of going to visit Fred on the day he set aside for shipping the calves that he had sold. This would usually take place near my birthday each year. Sometimes that would be a great way to spend the day, out in the wide open spaces of Montana.
Last year, after we had shipped off all of the steer calves. I stayed behind to help Fred, his hired man and a few of his kids and their friends sort the heifer calves from the cows. I was in charge of the last gate in the corral. The two earlier gates were meant to sort of different cows. My gate was to remain open to allow the calves to be gathered in one place. If for some reason the cows got past the first two gates, I was to close my gate and let the cow get behind me to be moved back up the alleyway later after that batch had been sorted.
I'm not sure what was happening, but there was one cow who came barreling down alleyway. I think it was suppose to go through the second gate, but they yelled too late and it came past both gates right toward me. She did not look very happy at that point. She had her head down and was ready to run over anything in her way. I had to quickly close my gate. I flung the gate toward the closed position as the cow came charging right at me. She hit the end of the gate head on, knocking it back toward me and she got in with the calves. Fred, and the others were all scared that I had just gotten run over. They were very relieved as I made myself seen. I guess they were more worried about me at that point than I was. Thinking about it later, I can see their concern. How would you explain letting your priest get run over by a cow?
I guess I was in more danger at Fred's place than I had been the whole summer while I was deployed to Kyrgyzstan with the Air Force.
I hope you are able to enjoy these stories of what may happen in the life of a priest in a rural parish :)