In my generation, we had a lot of different animals over the years, and the "famous" ones have remained in my memory. I've already written about Cheeper, that cute little peep that grew into a monster of a flogging rooster. And today, on the topic of milk cow, I'll tell you about Betsy.
She was a milk cow, a Brown Swiss, maybe. If she was a pure bred cow, it was probably by accident, because I think even our cows were mutts.
I don't know how old she was. I can just say that she was part of the farm as far back as my memories go. Betsy was about as tame as any cat on the farm, and the most dependable animal for showing up at milking time.
We milked by hand--also just part of life. It was something you learned, and all of knew how, and all of us did it. Although I will say, some of us did it more than others. Being one of the youngest, it didn't fall on me very often. It was more of a novelty when I got to do it. I'd beg to get to take a turn.
Over the winter, the cows were in the barn, and were let out once a day for water, then herded back inside. But in the summer, they roamed the pasture, living outside. And Betsy was milked over the summer. But we never had to go chase Betsy down and herd her back to the barn to be milked. She showed up at the yard fence at milking time.
I'd think that a cow's udder becomes quite painful if those gallons of milk aren't removed in a timely manner. Or...maybe she just liked us. I remember feeding her bread as a treat while she stood at the fence.. Really...sliced bread.
And then we'd milk her right there at the fence.
Drum roll... I give you Betsy... the milk cow. My sister Betty, 14 months younger than me, is beneath Betsy, milking her. I'd guess that Betty was 5 or 6 years old in this photo. Look at the dogs and cats! In the second photo, I am the little girl in the foreground, holding an egg carton. The photo dated Sept 1964 tells me that I was four years old. But sheesh--you'd think I'd have known by then you don't bring an egg carton to milk a cow. :-)