Part 3 of 3

Source:  Crittenden Record-Press. (Marion, Ky.), June 19, 1913, Edition 1, Image 3 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.


(Reported by R. C. Haynes.)


"The cow, finding herself free from all restraint, kicked up her heels and came on with renewed energy, pawing the earth with her hoofs and giving forth loud bellowings, like unto a cow bawling for her lost calf, and on I dashed, a few yards in the lead, with grim determination to outdistance her, if possible, and on and in the rear rushed the lunatic cow-driver, giving vent to roars of side-splitting laughter!

"Laugh and be dad-gum'd! I reflected, but if I ever escape from this confounded cow and an attack of hydrophobia, I'll make it warm for that ding-blasted cow-driver, or he'll make it hot for me!

"Being naturally of a somewhat combative disposition, the more I reflected on the outrageous behavior of the cow-driver, the hotter and more wrought-up I became. However, with the cow coming at me in full tilt, I thought it best not to attempt to square accounts with the cow-driver then and there. On the contrary, on and down the road I rushed, lickaty-split, as fast as my legs would take me.

"When I had gone perhaps a mile I came in sight of a field, enclosed by a rail fence. I made for the fence with all possible speed, hoping that it afforded a way for my escape from the cow. As I came up to the fence I saw a pole standing on an inside corner with a sigh tacked thereon. The sign read:


by L. Grouch

"Notwithstanding the blamed posted sign, I bounded over the fence to the inside of the field and betook myself off through the tall weeds. When I had gone a short distance I looked back. The cow was coming over the fence, head-on, likewise disregarding the posted sign and knocking the rails helter-skelter as she came.

"Close onto the cow's heels came the cow-driver, leaping over the fence and making a grab for the rope, failing, however, to make good. On the contrary, as he landed on the inside of the field his feet, some way, became entangled in the rope and, losing his foot-hold upon terra firma, he bumped up against the pole and fell to the ground, the posted sign landing on top of him.

"On I went through the field, lickaty-split, parting the weeds as I went, and on plunged the cow and the cow-driver after me!

"As I rushed thus onward, I saw the owner of the field and manufacturer of the posted sign off at some distance digging post holes, and I made off in his direction, hoping the blamed cow would be attracted from me and go after old Grouch. So as I neared him, I cried out:

"'Run, Grouch, run! The cow has hydrophobia!'

"The man dropped his post-hold digger and lit out through the field at a great rate, despite the thick tall weeds which would sometimes entangle his legs and throw him to the ground. Up he'd come, like Banquo's ghost, and off he'd go, running south, while I hastened on eastward, in the direction of my home.

"My strategic movements, however, were of no use; for the cow, paying no attention to old Grouch, kept straight on after me, causing a fresh outburst of laughter from the apparently demented cow-driver, at the sound of which the old man turned round, shook his fist at the cow-driver, then lit out again across the field, running as if his life depended on the speed he made. The last I saw of old Grouch he was climbing over the fence into his horse-lot.

"When I had crossed the field to the other side I again bounded over the fence into the road and was followed in my course by the cow, which came crashing over the fence, almost wrecking the panel, she, in turn, being followed by the cow-driver.

"I was now only a short distance from home and I started off in that direction in full speed, taking off my coat as I went and carrying it in one hand, while I still clung to my string of fish with the other.

"On I went up the lane, lickaty-split, encouraged by the sight of home and the thought of old Nab's being near and, I felt sure, on the alert.

"Still on and up the lane I ran, and on rushed the cow and the cow-driver after me!

"As I approached the house I saw my wife standing out in the yard by the front gate, gazing in consternation in my direction. Nor was it any wonder. The three of us--I, the cow and the cow-driver--coming toward the house, like a whirlwind, presented a novel spectacle--I a few yards in the lead and running at full speed; the cow plunging after me, with no sigh of a let-up, and the cow-driver bringing up the rear with long strides and now and then roaring out, 'Haw-haw-haw! Haw-haw-haw!

"As I neared the gate I could see old Nab standing by the side of my wife, as if to guard her from danger, and I could discern also that the dog was taking aim at the cow's nose. I knew if he got hold of her nose the race would close then and there.

"As the three of us got still nearer to the gate I saw, to my amazement, the expression of Mary's face change from a look of consternation to one of mirth and she, too, gave vent to a merry 'ha-ha-ha!'

"Thunderation! I reflected. Is everybody going crazy? Even old Nab had relaxed somewhat, and I saw him look at the cow then give his tail a friendly wag!

"On, however, I rushed through the gate, passing by Mary and old Nab, the cow and the cow-driver coming on, lickaty-split, at my heels!

"When the cow came up old Nab, instead of grabbing her by the nose, let her pass by; the, grabbing the end of the rope in his mouth, he ran twice around the martin-pole, winding the rope around it, then pulled back on his end of the rope with all his might. The cow, brought to a sudden halt, gave vent to a loud bawl, her head went toward the ground, her heels and tail went upward into the air and over she went, landing on her back--and the race was at an end.

"'Poor old Marg,' said Mary, going up and patting the cow, after the animal had regained her feet. 'Didn't you know her, Ben,--old Marg, the pet cow we traded to Mr. John Riley a few years ago? She was only glad to see you and was anxious to renew her acquaintance with you. the idea of running from old Marg! We must trade for her, Benjamin.'

"Turning to the cow-driver--who, I now discerned, was not Bob Elkins, Jim Hill or Nathan Ward, but was Lenard Riley--I said:

"Why in the Dickens did you yell at me that the blamed cow had hydrophobia?'

"'I didn't do it, (Haw-haw-haw!)' answered Lenard. "I cried out to you:

"Hold on there, Ben, the cow seems to know you.'

"I invited the cow-driver into the house and we all had fish for supper."


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