M, W 6-8
The Luck of Charlie
“Fawn, Here Boossssss, Here Boosssss," I yelled out.
From the other side of the barn, I heard Fawn's beller. “Mmmmmmmooo."
With my eight year old vigor, I began skipping along with the clanging of my milk bucket. I came around the corner of the barn and spotted Fawn. Her big brown eyes were almost begging me to hurry. I looked at her udders, which were bulging at their very seams. She had already dropped her milk and was patiently awaiting my arrival.
Fawn was as gentle, loving, and considerate as a cow could get. She
didn’t need a stanchion to be milked. Anywhere she was standing was
fine with her. I squatted down beside her and began milking. The steady
squirt, squirt, squirt against the bottom of the bucket was a very
familiar sound. As I milked, the milk began growing a foam cap, like
bubbles on dish water. By the time I had finished the bubbles were an
inch over the top of the bucket.
The freshest milk to be had was an inch below the rim. I reached
around the overflowing bucket and found the handle behind the foaming
cap. I patted Fawn on the back to let her know I was finished and
headed for the house. Halfway back to the house, our bull, Charlie was
standing beside a tree watching me as I lugged along with my bucket. I
didn’t worry, as I had no reason to fear him. When he was just a calf,
I used to ride him around the barn. Something was different about
Charlie this time. He was staring at me and acting unusual.
Still unconcerned by his behavior, I kept walking when I heard his
belligerent snort. At the same time, the very ground I stood on shook
as 2500 pounds of bull stomped his front hoof. I turned to see Charlie
in his raging bull stance.
With head lowered and nostrils flaring, Charlie was a fierce looking beast. His horns were only about four inches long, but I knew they were as hard as concrete. If he caught me on one of those horns, he could throw me through the air like a rag doll. I was defenseless against him and he knew it. He had every advantage stacked on his side.
I froze, somewhat dazed by this addition to my morning. Panic was
fast on its way and little pieces of my past began speaking to me.
"Don't let an animal sense your fear." It was way too late for that
one. "Do not run away, you will get trampled." Trying to stay cool
headed, I starting looking for a way to escape. Suddenly Lady, our
Collie cow dog, popped into my head.
"No, she's out hunting."
"Okay, what about Blacky?"
“Blaaaackeeeee," I screamed at the top of my lungs.
Having heard that name called many times before, Charlie's head
swung back toward the house. Blacky, who had been napping under the
house, sensed the danger in my desperate plea for help and flew into
action. I was nothing short of ecstatic as I watched a black streak
come flying around the corner of the house. Blacky was a true cow dog
at heart. Her mother, Lady, had taught her since she was a pup, and now
my life depended on her. Charlie had a great deal of respect for the
dogs and froze in his tracks. Next to Lady, Blacky was 60 of Charlie's
most dreaded pounds of flesh.
The throbbing fear I had felt was now a raging anger. I set down the milk bucket and watched as Blacky, faithful Blacky, ran right under Charlie. On her way under she sunk her teeth into one of Charlie's legs, just as Lady had taught her. Lady would have been proud. I know I was. Blacky's body kept right on going and abruptly stopped in midair. Blacky was suspended by only her teeth, which were sunk deep into Charlie. His hulking body that had seconds before been a massive threat, came crashing to the ground. It was similar to watching them Cherry trees fall, that are bigger around than Rosanne Barr. Blacky just stood right in front of him, as if daring him to even twitch.
The anger still surging in me, I looked around for an appropriate ABC tool. No more than ten feet away was an apple tree branch as big around as my arm. I snatched up my new weapon and walked over to that boisterous pile of hamburger. With all the dignity I could muster, I raised the branch over my head and brought it down as hard as I could. The cracking of the branch, combined with the hollow thud of Charlie's forehead was exhilarating. Justice had been served. I grabbed my milk bucket and resumed my trek towards the house. This time with Blacky, trotting gallantly by my side.