Friday, December 5, 2008

Cows...

Cherry Blossom and the front half of Betsy
These are scans of old Polaroid shots...not good quality and I didn't take the time to try to improve them with photo shop. I have not got to stay home one single day since Thanksgiving and I am running on fumes. I am not getting my daily fill of blogs, and having less time to work on mine, so please bare with me.
Starting from the cow cut off on the left hand side:
Betsy, Shorty (I think she was Betsy's daughter a year or two previous to taking this photo, can't remember for sure,) the Red Devil (what my future sister-in-law later called her) and then one of a set of twins that was Betsy's and by the way, it was her
second set of twins.

I don't know how many have noticed that I always say cows, I very seldom use the term cattle. I think it is because when I grew up, we lived on a farm, and just had a few cows. It wasn't like they were all a certain breed...not sure if we had any two the same mixture.
And each one had a name, and I think most knew their name. Each had a distinct personality. They never had the run of the barn, but when it was winter, they were turned in at night and each had it's own stall, and they always went to their own stall. I don't know how they knew which was their own, it wasn't like we spent time teaching them that. They just seemed to know.

Besides these, we had Daisy, Sally, Jinxie, I think one we called Blackie that was never really a pet, Patsy, and I know I am forgetting one or two. I really wish I had a picture of Sally...she was half Charolais and half Hereford--at least I think she was. Maybe one of my brothers will tell me if I am wrong. But if you just seen the front of her from her front legs on, you would about think she was a bull. She was tan with a white face, and her neck was thicker though not exactly like a bulls, but at first glance, I don't know if you would notice, and she had a big wide set of horns.

But she was sweet...just always gentle. And the Red Devil was her calf...and grew to be the only cow we owned that I was ever half afraid of. I can't remember her ever doing anything to me, but I just never liked her. I felt like she would not have minded harming me if I got in her way a little bit. Why she was that way, I will never know.

One of my other favorites was Shorty....she was born out in the pasture and a horse bit her neck. It had a big scab come off it in the shape of the bite and my mom and I doctored and doctored her neck to get it well, she had a scar the rest of her life. She was probably the most like a true pet....I remember going out in the pasture to see her calf when it was first born. I started back home and she started bawling and bawling....I went back and picked the calf up and took it and her to the barn and put them in their own stall and she was content. That probably sounds a little bit far-fetched, but it is the honest truth. She just stopped bawling when I went back.

That is just a little bit about the cows, each one was an individual to us, and we never thought about butchering one when I was home. And even though we knew the calves were to be sold, we always hated parting with them. About half the time, we kept the calves in the barn and turned the cows into them and let them stay in over night.

And those calves that were raised in the barn were really spoiled...going to the barn was never a chore for me. I never had to get up and go milk before school or go feed before school though. I know Neal did, and probably my older brother, George, did too at one time. But I fed and milked in the summer and after school as I got older. We usually just had one cow that we milked at a time...just enough for us.

And my mom sometimes sold milk and buttermilk. I think for a dollar a gallon. I don't know if she ever sold butter or not....

It is getting late and I am rambling, so I will just hush for the night.

8 comments:

Carletta said...

I love hearing the stories of your youth Rose. This was a great one.
Reminds me of my Hubs and the stories he and his family tell when they are together.
Bet Neal has a whole other take on it. :)

I was looking for a Sky Watch.

Rose said...

I can remember when I was little and would go to the barn with Neal, after he milked and was walking home, he could swing the bucket of milk all the way around and not spill any! I am talking about starting with it hanging down by his side and swinging it up over head.

Deborah Godin said...

What a sweet story, I really enjoyed hearing about your cow family tree, and seeing all their faces. Great post! Hope you get caught up soon, and can relax and enjoy the holidays and all your favorite stuff!

maryt/theteach said...

No cows where I live Rose. Thanks for sharing these gentle creatures with me! I wonderful how the photos would look in sepia... :)

Neal said...

Yeah, I like to get out there milking and shoot a stream of milk to the cat that would be standing there licking it out of the air and then change my aim a little and shoot the cat right in the face. :) Our cows were always pets to us and when our parents would sell the calf after it was so old I was always disappointed because I hated to see it go. You remember more of the names than I do (no comments from you Carletta:) ).

Tricia said...

I love hearing stories like this and you're not rambling - tell as many stories as you like - I'll be here to read them!!! hehehe
I'm glad at least you guys never butchered your cows - I've heard horror stories about cows and how they're treated. But, this is a good story. Thank you for sharing!!!

Tricia said...

Rose, is Neal from Photographic Memories the brother you're talking about? Wow - How cool is that?!?!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I think you had some wonderful experiences growing up, Rose. Sometimes I wish I'd grown up on a farm. You have many pleasant memories.

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