21 November 2011

Twenty-one and strong as I can be, I know what freedom means to me

Today was a real rollercoaster of emotions. We made an arrest on the case - our second. The first was immediate upon discovering the body. This finally meant we believed we were ready to release the body for burial. It's...hard. There aren't many places in the UK that still bury bodies in communal pauper's graves. Some boroughs of London do. I think that might be where that child ends up. None of the relatives seemed in a position to do much else.

All we can do is put them in touch with as many support networks and charities as we know of.

Another case where the law may have been served, but no one feels much better about it.

Anyway... enough of being down.

There was a great call for The Cow in the Pond story that Sally mentioned. How she knows about it I don't know - she was probably still in primary school. Or school, anyway.

So.




There was a cow. There was a pond. There was a cow in a pond, in the middle of a London park. There was a crowd of worried onlookers. All the onlookers were worried enough to not actually do anything themselves, but to call for help. From a London Bobby. Because we obviously do a course on bovine water rescues.

Who was the lucky London Bobby to be called to the pond? Yeah, me. Along with all the jokes about me being from the country, spending half my life with my arm up a cow's bum, all of that.

Well, to be honest, the cow looked reasonably content. It was eating pondweed. But it must have been fairly cold, because it was early spring.

Between us, we tried splashing things, throwing things, shouting, waving...the cow pretty much ignored us. So then my sergeant volunteered me to wade in to secure a rope around the cow so we could pull it out.

And yes, my uniform was pretty precious to me, and no one would have thanked  me if I'd destroyed it, so I stripped down to my boxers - to the apparent joy of the crowds. And started a very bloody cold journey into the pond.

The pond, as ponds are want to do, harboured a very very muddy bottom. Really far muddier than expected. And if I didn't keep moving I could feel it sucking onto my feet, trapping me.

When I got far enough I started more trying to swim a bit, to keep myself from getting stuck.

The cow looked at me and kept chewing.

So by the time I reached it, I was shivering pretty hard, but I looped the rope around it and looked back to my supportive colleagues on dry land.

The pulled.

The cow looked very slightly chagrined.

It didn't move.

More people joined in. Like a tug o' war.

The cow didn't move.

They told me to give it a smack.

It didn't move.

And I was getting really, really cold.

They threw another rope in, so I looped that around the cow, too.

More people pulled.

It still didn't move.

I was trying to remember the stages of hypothermia.

Finally the farmer turned up. He made a noise. I'm not kidding - just a weird sort of noise. And the cow perked up, got a bit panicky when it was stuck at first, and then managed to move itself.

I seriously didn't think I was going to be so lucky.

So I did the only thing I could think of.

I got on the cow.

And the population of London was treated to the sight of a mostly-naked very wet Metropolitan Police Constable who was blue from the knees up, black with mud from the knees down, riding a cow out of a pond.

And yes, I was called 'Cowboy' for about the next 5 years. I think I prefer Lestallion.

44 comments:

REReader said...

I'm sorry--truly--about the sadness at the end of the case. I wish I could do more than offer my sympathy.

And as for the cow story... *giggling madly* Um, okay, I will refrain from making any cowboy jokes today in gratitude for the fact that you've totally brightened my afternoon. :D

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Thanks.

And there cannot be any cowboy jokes I haven't heard, honestly. Glad it brightened up your day.

Cranky Bookwyrm said...

My sympathies for you on the end of the case.

As for the cow story . . . I have a really good cow story, but I don't want to upstage you. (It didn't happen to me, but to my grandfather.)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

If you want to share a cow story, go ahead. Upstaging is probably welcome.

Random Anon Lurker said...

And there cannot be any cowboy jokes I haven't heard, honestly

You can't just say things like that! We'll take it as a challenge!

...


A man sat quietly reading his morning paper one Sunday morning. Suddenly, he is knocked almost senseless by his wife, who stands behind him holding a frying pan in hand.
Man: "What was that for?"
Wife: "Why do you have a piece of paper in your pocket with "Daisy" written on it?"
Man: "Oh honey, don't you remember two weeks ago when I went to the horse races? Daisy was the name of the horse I bet on."
The wife was satisfied, and appologized for bonking him. Three days later he is again sitting reading the paper when once again he is bonked on the head.
Man: "What's that for this time?"
Wife: "Your horse called."

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Random - I assure you (and Danger - who I can't believe hasn't been over here to pipe up yet), the cow and I had a purely professional relationship.

Small Hobbit said...

That is a truly great story. I wonder if it has given our resident artist any ideas?

Desert Wanderer said...

laughing so hard right now.
And Sally's new tag is priceless.

REReader said...

Speaking of tags, how is the cow John's fault? Just wondering, you know. :D

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

SH - the prospect hadn't occurred to me. But does now scare me, after John and the goat.

DW - I'm glad that the entire saga - as embarrassing as it was - has made some of you laugh. Almost seems worth it.

RR - Because he made Sal babysit, she told the story, and then everyone wanted to hear the full saga. Ergo, his fault. As most things are.

REReader said...

Ah. Of course ...? :D

REReader said...

(And no comment on what you've revealed about yourself in your posts, hmm?)

Desert Wanderer said...

I'm sure there's a cowpoke joke in there somewhere, but I'll refrain.


Captcha is creepy again. Just gave me "steers"

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

RR - comment on it...no. I don't see the point in disagreeing with anything any of you have said, and would agree that much of it is true anyway. But it is interesting.

DW - so much poking and prodding on these blogs today! You'll get us a reputation...

Desert Wanderer said...

I'm only doin' good when I'm havin' fun. :)

Just tryin' to make it easier for people to find your (pl) blogs when searching for porn.

REReader said...

Mostly what comes across--from both of you--is that you are both really good people. *nudges shoulder* Okay?

Now I'm off to T'ai chi class--can't let my swords get rusty!

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Thanks.

Have fun.

Anon Without A Name said...

I want to send you hugs for your rollercoaster day. And, despite the fact that I am giggling, for being sent in your skivvies into a freezing pond in front of a bunch of gawping Londoners to try to persuade a cow to move.

And I'm not saying anything about poking...

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I like to think the cow-wrangling was character building...or something.

Anyway, all ended well.

Desert Wanderer said...

John's being awfully quiet. Is he alright? Asleep?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Either he's asleep in our room...or asleep in Sherlock's room...or Sherlock has actually removed his brain via his nose with a hook and is currently working on mummifying him.

I should probably go and find him, actually. Hadn't realised how late it was.

Anon Without A Name said...

"Character building". Like "development opportunity". Code for "really crappy job, and no, you don't have a choice"...

Amy said...

Great storytelling, L! I started laughing at "The cow looked very slightly chagrined." Pure comedy gold.

Desert Wanderer said...

Since I'm sure any instance of you finding him asleep will lead to cuddling and you sleeping, have a good night and a better tomorrow.

John H. D. Watson said...

That is the best cow story I have ever heard. I want to simultaneously laugh till I fall over and find you all those years ago and give you tea and tuck you into bed.

Desert Wanderer said...

Glad to see your brain is still intact, John. Or are you really a mummy returned from the dead?!

John H. D. Watson said...

I might be...

Do mummies eat brains, or is that only zombies?

Desert Wanderer said...

Zombies eat brains. Mummies want to come back to life or take back something stolen from them. I think.

Are you planning on eating someone's brain? And are you feeling better?

REReader said...

Ha! I think just zombies, but I confess that I am not well up on my undead.

(Btw...if I got too personal/rude with either of you I sincerely apologize--sometimes I get carried away and I can't always tell when I've crossed the line. Feel free to be rude/personal back, both of you.)

(Yes, Sherlock, you too.)

innie said...

Hey, L, thank you for answering my "luxurious" question a few days ago - I've been without internet access for most of last week, and I just saw that. And this. I want to say that stripping down and riding a cow is all backwards, so you're not so much a cowboy as a reverse cowgirl, but that would mean that your (absolutely hilariously spurious) claim about your blog being family friendly would all be for naught, wouldn't it?

THANK YOU, SALLY!

And while I know you know we think you have a way with words (and hands and very cold feet, if John's a reliable witness), I wanted to say you take gorgeous pictures too. I want to frame yesterday's and hang it on my wall.

John H. D. Watson said...

DW - I could eat a brain sandwich right now, but I'll probably just have cheese.

RR - no problem as far as I'm concerned.

I've just been thinking a lot about that child's family and wishing I could think of something to do for them.

REReader said...

Oh, good!

I don't know enough about the famiky's situation (quite properly, of course) to offer any specific suggestions, but maybe there's something you could send them anonymously?

REReader said...

(FamiLy's.)

Des said...

I think mummies try to take a mate...

And yes, you are lucky the cow story happened before Youtube and camera phones, because not only would it have been the most viewed video on Youtube, people would have Tweeted about it en masse and the crowd would have swelled to thousands.

Desert Wanderer said...

It's the communal grave that breaks my heart. I don't imagine that there would even be a headstone.

Maybe a fundraiser of some sort, John? A bake sale or something at the school?

hsavinien said...

Not a happy day, but I hope there's at least some closure come of it.

That is an excellent story, but ow... Cows have spines second to goats in bony protuberances. That can't have been fun even if it was faster and less hypothermia-inducing than trying to wade back out.

REReader said...

(Lestrade, of course the apology still stands for you.)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

DW, Danger, I should stress I don't know for sure that what I said will be the case. I just...I've been doing this long enough to suspect it might be.

Obviously it's not my place to ask the family about their funeral plans, but their FLO knows my concerns and is doing everything he can to help. So...there is hope.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

(should also add that after a big campaign last year some boroughs stopped the practice completely, which is good. But I don't know which ones.)

Desert Wanderer said...

I would trust your professional judgment on these thongs. I'm glad at least some are stopping. Lack of respect for.the dead is something that's been increasingly in the news (see Arlington National Cemetery and the Dover Mortuary Affairs Office). It seems such a simple concept to be getting so wrong. Not that that's always or ever the case in this type of situation, just...

You know what I mean.

DW said...

Damn it. *things

Of all the times for stupid autocorrect.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Don't worry, we're all experienced translators from typo to English. I hadn't even noticed.

I hope that the family can get whatever they wish. Although I have no idea what that is. It's always a problem when you start moving away from immediate family.

I doubt this child's grandparents have ever met before, and now they're thrown together in this situation, to try to decide what's best, when there's bound to be very difficult emotions going on, because of circumstances.

And...I probably shouldn't say more. Not on a public blog.

REReader said...

Sad. Hopefully they'll be able to get some comfort from each other; there's really no way of knowing...

X said...

wonder if it has given our resident artist any ideas?

LOL, I'm afraid, SH, that while it's given me quite a few ideas there are none of them I could execute with any confidence. Breathe easy, Lestrade.

I've been a very slack artist of late, to be honest. :( My motivation has fled along with the daylight and agreeable temperatures. I have a few started, though, so I will likely be posting them into December.

I'm sorry this case is weighing on you both still, though I can see how it would. There have been a few in Canada in the past few years that have just broken my heart -- infants abandoned to die because the parents didn't want/couldn't care for them. Ugh. I'm glad that you and your team brought some justice to the family, Lestrade.

Post a Comment