Only on South Caicos…

24 Mar

Just thought I’d share a pretty funny story that happened to me yesterday:

A while ago, when South Caicos was attempting to find another source of income, agriculture was introduced as a possible solution, and as part of the plan, cattle, donkeys and horses were all brought to the island in the hopes that they would reproduce and provide a steady stream of money for some of the residents. Well, that plan failed, badly, but the animals that were brought to the island are still here, and their owners give them free reign over the island to go where they’d like. So you may decide to take a walk one day and see one of the herds of horses grazing some grass by the local elementary school, or a herd of cattle passing the street in front of the airport. And, as I’ve mentioned before, packs of wild dogs also roam everywhere.

 Since there is so much down time at the center, I run down here almost every day just to let off steam and kill time. I take a loop that takes me by the local schools down to the airport, and then back around the island through town. I was on my way back from the airport, on the verge of coming into town, when I noticed several bulls walking alongside the road. They were far enough away that I could run by and feel pretty comfortable, so I kept going and didn’t give it much thought. That’s pretty on par for South Caicos.

 I went down the road about another 50 or so yards and came across a pack of donkeys, about 5 or 6, that were all standing either in the middle of the road or along either side of it. Normally you can scare off the donkeys pretty easily, because there are usually only 2 or 3 together at any one time; though there is a mother that will constantly bray at you if you get too close to either one of her offspring (I have no idea what a baby donkey is called, so I’m sticking with a neutral term). Anyway, I slowed down to walk past them when the mother really started freaking out, braying at me for a good 30 seconds before I realized that I had missed one of her children which was standing about 15 feet away from me on the side of the road. I decided not to push my luck and turned back around to find a side street.

 Well, by this time, the bulls I had passed by earlier were standing on either side of the road, right by the side street I had planned on taking. Keep in mind that these are pretty huge animals, and the ones down here have pretty massive horns. As soon as I started walking towards them, they both stopped eating and looked directly at me, and pretty soon I heard a loud grunt from one of the bushes where another bull was standing. Screw that; I had no intention to end up as target practice for a rampaging bull. In other words, I was stuck until either one of these herds decided to move.

On one side of the road there was a large flat field until it hits the coast, but one of the bulls and several of the donkeys were out there so I wasn’t about to try that. On the other side were houses under construction that were fenced in. After bouncing back and forth between the two herds like a ping pong ball and seeing each herd getting progressively more pissed off, I realized I wasn’t going anywhere until one of them decided to move. So I stood and waited for a good 15 minutes until the bulls had finally moved far enough away and I could sneak by them without getting noticed.

 I eventually made it home, although I was about 40 minutes late and I ended up missing dinner. But hey, that’s life sometimes on South Caicos!

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