Thursday, November 9, 2017

Buttercup aka Jenny

     The Jersey cow that Grandpas had given Mom on her birthday was very sweet natured. We named her Buttercup.
     Every evening Mom would get the milk pail and announce. "Okay children, let's go milk Buttercup." We would head for the barn and scoop some grain into the feeding trough while Mom took a rope and headed for the pasture to lead the cow inside.
     Once she was tied in her pen John or I would stand behind her and hold her tail so she wouldn't swat Mom's face while she was milking her. Mom would get a little stool and sit down beside her and say "Easy Jenny" and then start milking. The ping ping of milk hitting the stainless steel pail soon changed to the sound of streams of milk being added to a pail of foamy milk. The cats would be sitting nearby waiting for their daily dish of fresh milk.
     When we were done Mom would give the cats their milk, and set the pail in a safe spot while she let Buttercup back out to pasture. Then we would head back to the house where she would strain the milk into a gallon jar and set it into the sink with cold water to cool it off before putting it into the refrigerator.
      Somewhere along the line we stopped calling the cow Buttercup at all and switched to only Jenny.
      Then one day a neighbor stopped in and said they think they just saw Jenny down the road in someone's Alfalfa field, and if she wants to, she can ride with her down to the field and bring her back. Mom looked into the pasture and saw that Jenny was indeed missing, so she fetched her lead rope and then told John and me to take care of David if he wakes up and be good until she gets back.
      We stood by the window and watched her leave. We were soon bored in the house waiting for her and went outside to sit on the swing under the cedar trees so we can see when she's coming home. After what seemed like a long time we saw her coming with Jenny walking slowly behind her. They reached our land and Jenny decided it's time to head for the barn, and fast. She started off at a gallop with Mom dragging over the ground behind her trying to get the rope untangled from around her hands. When she finally got loose Jenny ran straight for the barn and Mom got up with bad rope burns and all bloody from being dragged over the ground.
     John and I were crying, and by the time she limped into the house so was David. She sat on a rocking chair to take care of him while John and I tried to wash the blood off her arms and get her all patched up.
     She didn't work for the rest of the day. And called us her little heroes for doctoring and taking care of her till Daddy came home.


  1. A sweeet story until your precious Mom got hurt. How sweet of you and John to take such good care of her. I'm sure she remembers your tender care to this day.

  2. Oh my goodness, your poor mother! I am avidly reading your stories of your childhood as quickly as you post them. I have a question for you- I have had some experience with horses, having owned a rescue horse that we kept at a boarding stable. While I enjoyed meeting horse people, it was sad and frightening to see so many friends hurt, some seriously, by these large animals. You wrote about the day your family's buggy overturned when Jim became splashed. That tale, and your post today makes me wonder- how common is it for Amish people to be injured by horses? Are people raised knowing how to properly train and drive horses safely or are horses dangerous for everyone? I know of 5 folks who have had broken their necks while riding, but all were miraculously not paralyzed. I think non Amish people have an idyllic view of cows and horses and wondered if injury due to them is more common than we think. Thank you as always for your educational and uplifting blog.

  3. What a sweet story. You will never forget those little moments. Though that moment scary, I bet your mom just brushed it off as an ordinary days work.

  4. How very scary for your Mom! Traumatizing for her and also for you and John as well.

  5. I have always been afraid of cows, but ended up with the married name Cowley. It has not made me any braver around cows.

  6. I enjoyed this post! Thank you for visiting my blog. Wish I could sit here all day reading more...


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