Saturday, January 28, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 28th Installment

would take you and your bucket in full circle before you were done; or worse, she would pick her hoof up high and step down, so you would have to constantly protect the bucket. You could be almost finished, stripping out the last drops and maybe not protecting the bucket, and she would raise up her hoof and stomp down inside the bucket. The milk would spill, but what was worse, the pure white milk would turn greenish brown from the manure on the milk soaked hoof.
Then there was ‘Pet,’ getting her name from being so tame. When Pet calved for the first time as a yearling, the calf was stillborn. Vernon picked up the dead newborn, and as he carried it to the tractor, Pet followed him. From that day onward the doe–eyed cow figured that humans were her babies. She was so tame you could do anything around her or on her. We could put Eddie or Jerry on her back, and the cow would walk around in a circle giving our little brother a nice ride.
There was ‘Rosy’ and ‘Linda’ (named after the parents first born) and ‘Jinx’ and ‘Whitey’ and several others I don't remember.
Then there was ‘Spot,’ the meanest #@!*%@ in the herd! This cow's real danger was her kicking style. Spot was a sweep kicker. Here, let me explain. Every cow in the history of dairy cows kicks differently. Whitey would kick back straight behind, a real danger to someone strolling by the rear end of that cow. Linda would slowly raise her foot up front to her belly and then swiftly kick back to where she was standing. Whitey, you could handle by pushing your head into her flank (the narrow indention in the cows side between her leg and her belly). If you were a hard headed farm boy and could take the pressure of the huge animal trying to raise her leg forward with all her strength, you could stop the kick. That was the good news – the bad news was by doing this you usually got a head full of lice from the cow. When our head would itch we would go to the cinder block shop where there was a fifty gallon drum of rotenone (DDT), a gift from the great Hamer train wreck, and work a handful of the powder vigorously through our hair with our fingers. Lice cured.
Okay, Spot! This cow's roundhouse kick was the most devastatingly lethal kick of all time. She would raise her leg, kick out to the side, and then kick back with a sideways kick like a demented side–arm baseball pitcher. The sweeping kick would gather up the bucket, the milk stool, the human, and even the cat waiting for a squirt of milk, and throw the whole kit, cat, and kaboodle against the back of the barn.
We're very clever boys,” I told Russ one day as we clamped Spot into the

500 more words tomorrow

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