It's Three O'clock in the morning, and the vicar's on the phone. He says there's a cow in his garden and he doesn't think it's alone.

I stumble into the bed post and grab the nearest top. My leg is stuck in my knickers and I'm doing a frantic hop.

I scream to my sleeping husband who hasn't heard a thing; “The cows are down at the rectory, didn't you hear the phone ring?”

I'm trying to decide if I have time to nip to the loo for a wee, but every second counts when the cows are out on a spree.

The lights are on in the kitchen, wellies are pulled on bare feet. A woolly hat holds my hair down and the image is complete.

We jump in the old farm landy,' our teeth are all a chatter. The frost shines bright in the headlights and we bounce down the drive with a clatter.

Our brains are trying to wake up, it feels like they're stuffed full of wool, but when we round the next corner we come face to face with the bull.

He lifts up his head and bellows, we see eyes shining bright in the lights. And right up behind is the vicar looking like he's had a bad fright.

It seems that the bull had decided that the heifers were hard to resist. He'd broken the fence and jumped over and they'd followed him into the mist.

Along comes the cowman and fiancée, in pyjamas, wellies and jackets. Wielding small lengths of plastic and making a hell of a racket.

The vicar does his best to be helpful and tries to make them turn back, but the heifers have got their tails up and disappear up a track.

Five O'clock in the morning, it's too late to go back to bed. So we all roll up in the kitchen and cook up a breakfast instead.

Next month when the cowman got married, when they were exchanging their vows. The vicar asked if they'd promise to always fence in their cows! Jan Millward©