Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Those dumb cows

A few years ago my cousin asking me to interview my dad for her.  She was writing a family history and wanted to include some personal stories from our fathers' generation.  It was a delightful time.  Dad's eyes lit up as he told me stories from his childhood and  the young adult years before he married my mother.  It think my favorite was "those dumb cows."

My grandparents were farmers.  They had about 150 or 200 acres of farmland.  Down the road was a woods.  Each day they let the cows out in the pasture near the woods to graze.  When Dad was about 10 or 12 it was his job to gather the cows up and get them back to the barn for milking.  One warm summer day he decided that "those dumb cows" could find their own  way down the lane and back to the barn.  Well, those dumb cows were really dumb.  Left to themselves they headed to the woods instead of the barn.  Those dumb cows went into the woods and then into the ditches and everywhere but to the barn.  Those dumb cows had to be chased and chased toward home.  Some of those dumb cows refused to move out of the woods.  It took hours and hours to gather the cows and all the while Dad shouted, "Go home, dumb cows!  Go home!"  There was no supper that night for the boy who thought those dumb cows could find their own way down the lane and back to the barn for supper was long over before all of the cows were returned to the barn.  "That was the day I learned why someone had to go gather those dumb cows and get them back to the barn," Dad said.  "They really were dumb.  Too dumb to go home on their own."

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