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More Bull (Leaping)
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After reading my Orphan Scrivener article about whether Mary and I might've made a mistake when we had a bull-leaper grab a charging bull by the horns and leap over its back, Mark Terry comes to our defense:

First, given the acrobatics and such that we've seen from the likes of Cirque du Soleil and other top-level circus and trapeze performers, I imagine that it would be possible to perform such a stunt if you were at the top of your game, technically skilled, and had the guts of a burglar (if you'll pardon the reference). And, of course, unlike some acts of acrobatics, bull leaping is Darwinian in that those who can't do it aren't likely to get a second change to practice.

Secondly, cattle farming has come a long way over the last thousand or two years. Now days our bulls are fed with special feed, antibiotics and growth hormones and given the highest level of modern veterinary care. That's how you get a 2000 pound bull. I would suggest, and I wouldn't be shocked if your local agricultural college or university had an expert on the subject, that in Byzantium, or, more accurately Crete, the bulls were a lot smaller than they are today. That's not to say, at least from my only modestly athletic point of view, that flipping over a bull of say, even as little as 500 pounds, isn't a dangerous endeavor requiring, you know, balls of cast iron, to say the least, but it's possible it becomes somewhat more feasible. Of course, your bull flippers were females.

Besides being a man who obviously knows what he's talking about, Mark is the author of the mystery novels DIRTY DEEDS and CATFISH GURU. You can visit him at his web site .

Mark wrote us an email and when I went to post it in this entry I found that Barbara Klaser had also lent us some justification in a commentwhich I’ll place here to keep things organized:

My dad once raised a black angus bull from a calf, and according to him when the animal was young it would charge my dad in play. As it grew larger it continued to do this, stopping just short of him (sometimes terrifying visitors who didn't understand it was a pet).

After growing up hearing that story, I can buy into the idea of the bull-leaping, especially with the premise of the bull being specially trained.

Barbara, another knowledgeable writer, author of SNOW ANGELS and SHADOWS FALL. The former is available at her web site.

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