The change to the bull’s prisoner of war status made General von Bock very angry. He sent his German Shepherd dog to kill the bull. When the dog saw the bull, he became very aggressive and attacked the bull ferociously. The bull slammed itself into the barbed wire dragging the snarling dog with it and the sharp iron spikes tore into the flesh of both animals. The dog was in so much pain that it opened its mouth and let go of the bull, while the bull took the opportunity to throw itself onto the dog, which crashed to the ground. The bull raised its front hoof and prepared to deliver the fatal blow. Something amazing occurred in the split second before the bull brought its hoof down; the bull stared at the dog, slowly lowered its hoof, and lay down panting. The dog moved far away from the bull and did not dare to go closer.
Sergeant Jonak and the other Belgium prisoners of war heard the news and were concerned about the bull. The next morning, they saw the bull and the dog lying quietly next to each other. From then on, the two became inseparable. When someone yelled at the old bull, the dog would growl and bare its teeth and bark at the person.
The general could not believe this and on his next inspection tour, he ordered the dog to be publicly killed. The dog was tied to a pole, and its barking made the bull restless. The bull broke away from the guard and knocked down several others to save the dog. The general became irate at this and drew his gun, aiming it at the bull. The moment he fired, the dog jumped up to protect the bull, was hit by the bullet and died. The bull sadly licked his friend’s body with his tongue.
Undeterred, von Bock once again pointed his gun at the bull, but it raised its head calmly and looked at him silently. Everyone was holding their breath, nervous and afraid of hearing another shot. After five minutes, von Bock could no longer grip his gun and lowered it. Major Krupp observed panic and fear in von Bock’seyes. The general said: “Bury my dog according to the military standards and at the same time, be kind to this old bull.” After that, von Bock wrote in the diary of the day: “Through the eyes of a bull, I saw the light of God.”
Three days later, all the prisoner of war camps in Belgium received orders from General von Bock, which read: “Treat prisoners of war strictly in accordance with the Geneva Convention and ban all abuses and killing of prisoners of war.” The bull survived the war, while General von Bock was killed when the car he was riding in was strafed by a British fighter plane.
This bull once again won the honorary medal of the army. Three years after the end of the war, it died peacefully in Belgium. Major Krupp, Sergeant Jonak, along with other Belgian soldiers all attended the funeral, respectfully sending off this brave, loving, and kind warrior because his compassionate move disintegrated a possible war that would have been filled with bloodshed and murders.
Translated by Yi Ming and edited by Helen