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My new responsibility

When we got to Spring Arbor, Dad’s dairy herd was reduced to one cow, a Jersey.

Farmers tell me Holstein cows give more milk, but maybe this cow gave enough for our family of seven. And I hear Jersey milk has more butterfat — maybe more like whole milk, say, instead of 2%?

Hold her tail

I liked to run my hands over our cow’s brown coat and lean into her warm hip while I buried my nose in her hair. And I helped milk this Jersey cow. That is, Dad appointed me to hold her tail while he sat on a stool with the top of his head resting in her flank and his hands reaching under to pull her milk down into a pail.

Use two hands

Every morning and every evening, I stood faithfully by her lovely brown bottom, holding her tail in two hands like a bell ringer in a church steeple. I had to hold tight, Dad said, so she could not swish him in the face or dip her tail in the milk.

A position of importance

Since then I’ve looked inside many dairy barns at milking time, yet I’ve never seen anyone holding a cow’s tail. And that, of course, is because they don’t have a highly responsible person of three and a half years whose father assigned him to a position of importance.

4 Responses to My new responsibility

  1. Donald Ingram August 29, 2017 at 9:20 AM #

    Not only responsible, but brave!

  2. Gary E Dougherty August 29, 2017 at 9:23 AM #

    Great story! I remember the first time I ever TRIED to milk a cow !!
    I, too, have never seen anyone holding a cow’s tail – although I could be mistaken but I am thinking …. many years ago . they used to tie the tail up along the side of the cow ..

    It is interesting that the KJV – mentions in Genesis 1 – the creation story – that God actually separated cattle from “creeping things and wild beasts” … Gen 1:24 “God said, “Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: cattle, creeping things, and wild beasts of every kind.” And it was so.”

    I think God loves cows! 🙂

  3. Donna R Caddell August 29, 2017 at 2:29 PM #

    Ha, ha, ha, brings back memories of me trying to milk a cow on my Uncle’s farm. Never could get the hang of it! You did a great job!

  4. Vianne Satterfield August 31, 2017 at 7:44 AM #

    David, it sounds like your dad trusted you with that responsibility, which is pretty neat, as you were so young. What a cool memory!

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The Days of Elijah - a story

The Days of Elijah – a story

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