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Mom and the Mean Bull

February 1, 2013

This is another excerpt from my first book, From Sharecropper’s Son to Tracking Missiles.” The story is about my mother during the first year of their marriage while sharecropping. I did not post yesterday because I was on the road all day returning from Roswell, N.M. I had spent the last two weeks in Roswell.

Dad borrowed a bull from a neighbor to breed their milk cow. The next morning, Dad turned the cow out to pasture, but left the bull in the lot. Dad hitched a plow to his plow horse and began plowing the south forty.

Later that morning, two men backed a trailer to the loading chute of the cow lot. As they tried to enter the lot the bull snorted, pawed the ground and chased them out of the lot. They tried to enter the lot several times, but backed out each time.

Mom was in the kitchen preparing lunch for Dad and could see what was happening through the back window. She became disgusted with two grown men dominated by an animal. Mom was only 18, but she had grown up watching her father, grandfather and uncles handle cattle.

Mom was only 5 foot 2 and barely 100 pounds, but she pulled off her apron and went outside. As she neared the cow lot, she picked up a stubby stick from the ground. The first time the men saw Mom was as she crawled between two rails to enter the lot.

One of the men shouted, “Don’t go in there. That bull is mean!”

The bull began snorting and pawing the ground. Mom walked straight to the bull and whacked a sharp blow across the bull’s nose with the stick. She then grabbed the nose ring and twisted it. The bull meekly followed her up the loading ramp into the trailer. Mom stepped out of the trailer and said, “You can take your bull home now!”

Sheepishly, the men tied the tailgate closed and left. When they reached the field where Dad was plowing, they stopped and walked out to Dad. The first words they said to Dad were, “That is some woman you’ve got there.” They then told about Mom and the bull. Dad was astounded, but his face was beaming with pride in his wife.


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