Thursday, March 16, 2006

Only in Charlottesville

This morning, at about 7:00, I was alarmed to see several police cars, lights flashing, swarming my small quiet street. About a year ago, my neighbor was the victim of a violent crime in her house, so naturally my thoughts turned to her. Furthermore, I had been out running earlier that morning, and I wondered if I had narrowly missed becoming a crime victim myself. I could see police officers, apparently looking for clues, in a nearby backyard, and they had deliberately blocked the street with their cars, which is never a good sign. It was also time for my children to go out to wait for the school bus, which worried me, since I didn't think they'd be safe, and they are at the age where they don't want to be seen with their mother in public. I had to trail them at a discreet distance and keep an eye on them from across our park.

Eventually, the police left, and I was left frustrated, wondering if I'd have to rely on the slender skills of the channel 29 news team to bring me the story. J, more assertive than I, went out to find the scoop.

What brought scores of cops to my neighborhood? Three cows had escaped from the stockyards in Belmont. They were seen wandering through Belmont Park--cows in Belmont Park!--when someone called the police, who herded them into the backyard, where I spotted them "looking for clues." Someone from the stockyards came to get them, and all is back to normal here in my little corner of C'ville.

I'm kicking myself for having just missed seeing those cows in the park myself. It must have been quite a surprising sight.

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