The Bull

by Jasmine Farmand. Jasmine, 16, from Hassocks, England. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

Present day. Immortalised she stands, glistening in the sun, which beats down onto her brow. She stands defiant. She stands tall. Stance low and grounded, her opponent is battle ready, snorting and grunting thick pillars of ashy, white smoke. He sways, shifting his weight around, ready to annihilate her without a flicker of guilt.

Our view distorts suddenly and we no longer see that young girl facing off against a thousand kilogram Bull, but rather we are exposed to the image of a young woman placing flowers atop a newly dug grave. An elderly man shutting off his alarm clock when the sun rises above the horizon, ignoring the chill from her side of the double bed. A young man enters a police station, clenching his fist at the overwhelming feelings of emasculation. He reports a crime.

Let us rewind. Weeping against the pitiless cobbled street, the young girl curls her body to conserve warmth. Her face, once youthful and smooth, contorts into a mask of agony. Wrinkles etch into her skin, instantly adding years beyond her age to her appearance. Casting a thick, pure shadow, her opponent towers over her, head held high with righteousness.

Yet again our view becomes blurry then sharpens into a different scene. A young woman is hunched over, body wracked with tears as she battles to draw a breath. She can see the rich, metallic liquid covering her hands, body, floor, walls, anywhere the eye can see. She sits alone in a white, sterilised hospital room. An elderly man prays each night, mind overcome with disbelief, he asks for his life to be taken instead, for the wicked to be taken in place of the good. A young man with clenched fists confides in his brother, he stands slouched with eyes that have not seen the light of day since that one fateful night. His brother accuses him of not fighting back and turns his back in disgust.

Fast forward back to the present, the Bull has an almost knowing gleam in his eye. His eyes share a secret with the girl that only the two of them know. A secret game. Rising to her feet, the young girl whimpers and shields her eyes from the offending sun. Scraping the barrel for her last drop of energy, she raises her chin and meets the Bull’s cunning glare.

This picture prompted me to think of the Bull as my own struggles in life. I instantly saw myself as that little girl having to face off against something much larger than I can handle. Every day these issues knocked me down further into myself, everyday tasks became overshadowed by the Bull and I stopped leaving the house. Everybody has their own Bull which can be small and almost insignificant or so large that nothing else matters anymore. What matters is how we deal with our Bulls. Do we do nothing and let it swallow us whole? Fight back? Enlist help to defeat the Bull? Depending on how we react tells us about who we are as a person. Defying all odds, the little girl stands brave and she stands tall. Every day we fight, every day we battle until there is a victor and every day we find a new chink in the Bull’s armour.

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