bison tennis

Things are slow here in tennisland. There is very little tennis on television through the end of May. Thus, I bring you this story.

The front page of the New York Times shows an image of a bison jumping over the net on a tennis court. Had he just won his match and jumped the net to comfort his fallen opponent? No, he was joining his pal on the other side who was making a mad dash for the baseline.

I’m not very good with animals. Are bison like cows, all female? Evidently there are male and female bison and you can identify the males by their black beards.

These bison had escaped from a suburban farm in Maryland and had to be herded away from the side of a nearby highway by a large group of police officers. The officers tried to cordon them off but the bison preferred playing on a fenced-in tennis court.

Clearly the suburb is in an upscale area if the building has it’s own tennis court. Possibly the furry animals wanted to know what it felt like to be in the country club set for a few hours. We know that’s where we are because one of the observers filled a children’s wading pool with water for the bison, he said, “to improve their feng shui.” I don’t think we’d be talking about feng shui if the bison had wondered onto a public tennis court in Compton, but I could be wrong.

Animals like to make fun of us. My friend Carolyn and I were once in charge of moving a horse from the barn down to the lower field late one beautiful afternoon in western Virginia. The horse managed to get out of the barn and wander around for a bit while we desperately searched for him. When we finally managed to get hold of him and started to lead him in the right direction, he kicked up his heels and had a little run along side the fence with a pal of his who was in the upper field. You could just hear the two of them snorting and chortling and saying to each other, “Jeez, these humans are idiots.”

Another image in the article shows a police officer flat on his back still clinging to a piece of webbed outdoor furniture that was meant to act as a barricade. A fallen opponent I suppose. Possibly the bison thought they had invented a new game: police officer pop-a-shot. Knock them down, run to the net, jump over the net and you’re home free till the next one pops up.

I counted fourteen officers for eight bison. Seems unfair.