Millie Could Kick The Buttons Off Your Shirt
By W. P. Sissell
Miss Sadie’s Cows
Mother always got up working. Our routine usually called for breakfast before heading for the morning milking. Miss Sadie must prepare breakfast getting a little bit of help (that means not much) from the rest of us although most of us had some little chore that we must attend to before breakfast, feed the chickens, gather eggs, get a pitcher of cream from the cans of milk in the cooling vat, be sure the correct number of milk bottles were ready for filling, and the milk cans and strainer were in the cart ready to go to the barn, and/or let the cows out of the night pasture.
The breakfast was Quaker Oatmeal – Nannette tries to get me to eat a bowl of oatmeal once in a great while, today. My usual thought response is that I ate enough as I grew up to last the rest of my life. Only once in a great while the breakfast menu at our house was varied.
In the past few weeks I have told you how busy my mother always was—for several years she kept books for the Creamery—in addition to her housework. After that first chore in the morning—breakfast—Miss Sadie joined us in milking certain ones of the cows. Most of the time, her cows were just inside the entry doors on the eastern row of stanchions. Dad pretty well saw to it that all of her cows and Ruth’s were easy to milk. There, as usual, was one exception to the previous statement. That exception was a small cow that we called Millie.
If Dad or I just stepped in by Millie, stool and bucket in hand, Millie began kicking and she was very accurate with her kicks—we often said that she could take the buttons from your shirt—the only way anyone other than mother could milk Millie was with kickers (adjustable hooks joined by a chain that fastened the large leg tendons together). She just didn’t want a male milking her. She was Miss Sadie’s pet.
Although you or I might have thought Miss Sadie never had a free moment, she did. When she realized that she was going to be free for a short time she might work in her garden, go fishing or work in her flowers. I remember well the day she went down to O’tuckalofa for a thirty minute fishing trip. She changed her fishing place about thirty feet. Suddenly her line became alive and she landed what we all called a Rainbow Trout. In a few minutes she had another smaller fish exactly like the first. Where and why they showed up there in O’tuckalofa we never figured out but they were exactly like the Rainbows I catch on the White River.
If we walk out our back door now we’re likely to come face to face with one of those marvelous little humming birds, One—apparently two—showed up almost a month ago. I use that apparently because the number has increased greatly in that time.
Have you ever noticed how they fly either backwards or forward? Friend Harold Vaughn, one of my exercise buddies, wanted to know how they do that. I think that I had the right book to explain that movement.
Monday is Memorial Day and I always remember where I was many years ago now when I got a message in a round about way that my brother, Reuel, was dead. I was in Karlsrhue, Germany. Many weeks later I got a letter from him. It had travelled from Karlsrhue back to our home out on the mudline. Our hope and wish for you is that you have a great week. You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606 or 662-563-9879.