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"If you milk ‘em every night and morning, you know them."

Fri, Jun 8th, 2001
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Edited By Beth WaterhouseJune 11, 2001

• You get to know the animals’ personalities. I had one raised from a calf and she got to be in the milking herd and she was the leader of the herd. You know, when you’d go out to pasture and come back she was always first. When we had to sell her it was very emotional for me because I’d grown very attached to her. Her name was Jonah. When she was little for some reason I called her Joan of Arc and then shortened it to Jonah. We must have had her for 10-12 years at least. She was a good mother and for some reason she was a favorite. Pigs I seldom got attached to. They’re supposed to be intelligent but they can be some of the most stubborn critters.

• One of my experiences reflects my not being raised on a farm. The first year of marriage and farming my husband was moving the cows from one pen in the yard to another pen just across the yard. So it wasn’t very far, but he didn’t tell me he was going to move them. I was in the house; it was in the morning and I was still in my housecoat. And I see this pen door open! I quick ran out and closed it. He was so upset. I thought I was being helpful, but was more of a hindrance. That was not his plan.

Oh we had sheep. Of course our youngest, was in 4-H so he had sheep and he had names for his sheep like Sam and Sam-ting (like same thing?) And he named one of them Anita because Anita was mean to the rest of them. I had a girlfriend named Anita and had told him the story about how mean Anita could be. So he though it a cute name for that particular lamb.

• I do remember one little pig, a little runt that had something wrong with it and we didn’t think it would make it with the sows so my husband was just going to kill it and I said I’d try to feed it; you know how that is. So we got it to drink out of a bucket (regular cow’s milk.) It’d be in with the rest of the pigs when we weaned them, and it got so that as soon as you came in with the bucket that little thing would come tearing down the aisle for that milk. You could hardly hold the bucket. We named her Peggy, and decided to keep giving her this milk so she’d catch up with the rest. She would follow us all around the yard, such a pet. I just loved the little thing, but then I got to thinking what it would be like when we’d have to sell it—how is this going to go? And I finally said, "I think this pig can maybe do ok on its’ own now, we’d better put it in with the other pigs and let it get lost now." For quite a while, Peggy would just come up to the alley and put her little feet up there. The kids thought that was a lot of fun.

From Harmony, Minnesota, April 7, 2000 Greenfield Lutheran Church Opal Schrock, Drucie Milne, Pauline Austin, Loni Kemp Editor, Beth Waterhouse

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