Broken Leg’s Journey: A Bull’s Tale

(Bhaktivedanta Ashram) – Broken Leg’s Journey: A Bull’s Tale

Here are three of the smaller street bulls we have been locking up for the last week so they don’t end up being sacrificed during the Eid festival. Today we finally let them free to be back on the street. They did not like being locked up in the day, but it was for their own good.

On the right is the orphan bull Kapila Muni, in the back is Maaah Shanda, and in the front is an ox named “Broken Leg”. He got his name because before we found him his leg had been snapped in half in a road accident. It may have actually been his good fortune, because he lived in a far away Muslim town, and would have been killed long ago for meat.

He got in an accident on the highway leaving his leg completely broken with the bone protruding. Gau Rakshak volunteers took him for treatment and left him in the house of a local cow owner in our village to recover. The bone eventually healed but is joined crooked, side by side, instead of cleanly in a straight line. I’m not sure if it will cause problems in the future.

Once he could walk, they released him in our village and he ended up at our temple almost immediately. When he first started coming I could still see a little blood coming from the wound on his leg. At the time we didn’t know anything about his story or how he had been injured.

Because he had a broken leg, we would put him inside our straw storage area to be fed separately, along with a couple of the younger calves like Kapila Muni. Pretty soon he identified that area as his home. Now every day at 4pm he comes and stands at the goshala gate waiting to be let into his room, rather than eat with the other street cows. He will eat and sleep there on a pile of straw and then in the morning be let out to roam the streets.

(This is where Broken Leg lives in the straw storage area eating as much straw as he likes and making a mess that we have to clean every morning. That’s him in the middle sleeping, probably around 4 months ago. The others have grown big enough to live with the other street cows, but he refuses to give up his room.)

(Boney Cow, Sri Rama, and Broken Leg. Some of them may not have gotten the best names, but these three get to sleep in the straw storage shed every day, which means they can steal all the straw they can eat.)

We have been asked to keep these three bulls permanently by their past owners and caretakers, but unfortunately we don’t have enough land to give them a happy life so are forced to leave them every day to roam in the streets. They still come back every evening to eat and sleep at our temple.

I tried last week to put Broken Leg in with our permanent bulls in the goshala, but it caused a lot of fighting between the bulls because they mistook him for a female, and the space they have is not enough. After 2 days we were forced to remove him or someone (cow or human both) could have become seriously hurt from the fighting.

One day we will relocate this temple and ashram out of the city where we can have open land for the cows to enjoy a proper life.

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