A Cow’s tale

May 1, 2017

A Cow’s Tale

By Russell George

Jersey is my pet cow. Dad bought her at the sale barn one day when she was just a little caf. At first we had to feed her milk with a bottle. Then she got so she would drink her milk out of a pail. Every night it was my job to feed her. She kinda took a liken to me. We became friends.

Jersey was what they call a jersey cow. She was kind of a yellow–brown color. The rest of the cows we had were what they call her fords. We kept jersey in a pen in the barn with other baby cafs. I felt sorry for jersey cuz she was cooped up in that pen all the time. One day I put a rope around her neck and took her out for a walk around the corral. She liked that so I did it most every day.

When jersey got a little bigger I broke her to ride. That is what they call it when they teach a horse to let you ride it. I was able to stradle her back and let her carry me around. They don’t make bridles for cows so I wasn’t able to tell her where I wanted her to take me. Most of the time she didn’t wanta take me anywheres. I had to kick her in her flanks with my heals to get her to move.

Dad had a thing they called a cury comb. It is like a steal brush that is made to brush a cow’s hair. I guess it’s to get the dirt off their hide since cows don’t take a bath. Jersey liked it when I brushed her with that.

When jersey got about 6 months old she got to go out to the pasture every day and eat grass with the other cows and cafs. It was my job to go to the pasture every evenen and bring the cows home to be milked. When I got the cows headen towards home I’d jump on jersey’s back and let her carry me. Some times when the cows saw that I wasn’t chasen em theyed stop to eat grass. I’d have to jump ofen Jersey and chase them again.

Jersey musta been a round 2 years old when she got pregnant. A few months later she had a baby caf. Her and I were real proud of her baby. Her caf got put in the pen in the barn where we kept jersey when we got her. I taught her baby how to drink milk outen a pail like jersey did when she was little. Jersey got to go in the barn ever night n mornin to be milked. In the evenen it was my job to carry water to the pigs. One evenen I saw Dad let jersey outen the barn after he milked her. I was on the way to the pig pen with 2 buckets of water. When I came back I saw that jersey had laid down by the fence. As I was goin back to the pig pen with 2 more pails of water I got a bright idea. I thought, I’m guna play a practical joke on jersey and tie her tale to a fence post. After I finished watern the pigs I went to the shop and got a piece of cord about 10 feet long. I tied it to jersey’s tail . Then I tied the other end to the top of a fence post. She never paid a bit of attention to what I did. I guess she was tired and was fixen to sleep there all night.

After that I went to the house for the evenen meal. I just finished seten the table for mom when Dad came in. I could see right away that he had a stormy look on his face. He said, “Rusty, you come out here.” As I followed him out the door I saw he had a piece of cord in his hip pocket. He took me by the arm and led out to where I had tied jersey’s tale to the post. She wasn’t there any more. He said, “Rusty what you did to jersey is called cruelty to animals. So you can learn what it’s like I’m guna tie you to the post. He tied the cord tight around my rist and then to the post. I’m sure he woulda tied me by my tale if Ida had one. While he was duin that he said, “Jersey is your pet, but she is my cow.” I’m guna leave the cord long enough so you can lay down and sleep here tonight.” I said “Do you mean your guna leave me here all night?” He said, “Well that’s what you was guna do to jersey wasn’t it?” I said, “But I aint had nuthen to eat yet.” he said, “That’s alright. Youl be ready for a big breakfast in the mornin.”

With that he went of an left me there. He went to the house. After about an hour he came back out where I waz. He said “Yer mother wouldn’t stand fer leven you out here all night.” He untied me and said “I hope you have learned what it’s like to be cruel to animals. I thought about sayen, “But I aint no animal,” but then I thought I better keep my mouth shut. When I got to the house I saw that Mom had a plate of food set out on the table for me. She didn’t say nuthen. I ate the food and went up to my room and went to bed.

The next day I realized that I owed an apology to jersey. I don’t even know if she realized that she had her tale tied to a fence post. If she did, that’s all the more reason why I needed to apologize to her. That evenen, when I went to the pasture to get the cows, I went to jersey right away. I put my arm around her neck, gave her a hug, and said “Jersey, I’m awful sorry fer what I did to you last night. Will you forgive me?” Of course jersey couldn’t talk to me, but I could tell by the look on her face that she was listenen. I’m sure she forgave me because she was still my friend after that.

From that experience I learned to be careful about what I did as a practical joke. I thought, “It might be a lot of fun fur me, but it might be cruel to the one I did it to. We need to be kind, even to our animal friends.

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