One summer evening Daddy announced that it was time that I learn how to milk the cow. It always looked easy when ever I watched Mom or Daddy milk our little Jersey and I looked forward to being able to milk her on my own.
I brought the cow in from her pasture and carefully measured her usual amount of grain into her little trough. After washing her udder with warm soapy water I was ready to start milking. I set the pail on the floor and held it with my knees to keep it from tipping over if Pansy should happen to bump it. Daddy showed me the correct way to squeeze so that a nice stream of milk shot into the pail. I tried it but the stream of milk I got wasn't very impressive. I kept on trying. The pail gradually filled up, but my arms ached so badly I could hardly keep on.
Pansy had finished eating her grain and was getting impatient to go back out to her pasture. Daddy finally offered to finish milking her and I was happy to hand the pail and milk stool over to him. The next evening I tried again, and Daddy again had to finish milking her.
After several weeks with Daddy always finishing the milking I finally succeeded in doing it by myself. I was so happy about that, that after I had given the cats their bowlful of fresh milk I sent the pail into the house with one of my brothers while I borrowed a pocket knife from John and climbing up to a beam I carefully carved the words, "I milked Pansy all by myself." I then added the date in hopes that someday once I was old I could look at it and be reminded of the night I reached this specific milestone.