It was the best walk of my Cornish holiday. I started west of St Ives and walked towards Zennon along the coastal path. The granite cliffs were suitably wild and the sea aquamarine. The Atlantic rollers were throwing up spray on the ragged headlands. I passed a superb display of spotted orchids as I toiled in glorious sunshine along the switchback track. German girls with heaving and sweat stained bosoms shouted cheerful greetings as they trudged the other way.
As I neared Zennon I began to tire and got careless - slipping on the quartz sand and banging my knee on a granite outcrop. It was a relief to leave the cliffs and slip into the cool, dark, pub at Zennon for a pint of best bitter.
My way back lay across the Celtic meadows stretched out on the coastal plain beneath the tor crowned hills. It was wonderful to walk through these fields of great antiquity. They were bounded by low walls of granite boulders. The cattle grids were made of vertical slabs of the same rock and the stiles, too, were constructed of local stone.
All went well until I came upon a field of bullocks. Now I know that the walker has nothing to fear from bullocks. However, one or two were very substantial and had something of the bull about them. They began to move in my direction led by a particularly bulky and baleful looking individual. I stood my ground and shouted, "GOOOOO ON!"
The herd stopped - surprised. I hurried on. The big bullock with the aggressive expression didn't stop for long. He came again - with his mates - showing somewhat greater urgency. I turned round and bawled, "GOOOOOOOOOO ON." Once again the advance was checked. I scurried on looking back over my shoulder as I did so. I could see that my tactics no longer impressed the boss bullock. He led the charge in my direction.
I fled for the stone stile - hurling myself over - banging the other knee. I need three swigs of my asthma inhaler to recover!
When I got back to Suffolk I thought I would consult with my friend Roger Cawston who attends our church. He knows something about bullocks as he has been rearing them for years on his farm at Rede. I said to him, "Roger, I'd like your advice."
He replied, as is his wont, rather cautiously, "Oh yes! What about?"
"Well," I said, "what should you do if you are charged by a herd of bullocks."
"Bullocks don't charge people," he replied.
"They did me," I said - rather shortly.
"What did you do?" he asked.
"Ran," I said.
"That's the worst thing you could have done," he commented. "You aroused their curiosity."
"What should I have done?" I asked.
"Just stood still," he responded.
So there you are! You now know what to do when charged by a field of bullocks led by a huge meany with a red glint in his eye. If I have faith in my friend Roger I will in future take him at his word and stand still - waiting for the thundering hooves to cease.
That is what faith is - taking our Friend at his word. It is as simple as that!