was seldom time to put on work shoes before heading for the orchard and thistles and bare feet usually involved verbiage tending to ,turn the air a deeper shade of blue.
The wool was sheared in May. It is amazing how removing eight pounds of wool changes the appearance of the individual sheep. Well, we had a ram, of course, lambs were also a money crop, which said ram had a sour disposition and a definite proclivity for "ramming" sundry animals including small boys. I was at five years old at the time.
The shearing was finished and I undertook to chase the sheep back to the orchard. Wrong move! The ram was last in line and as I shooed them on their way, Mister Ram affirmatively set me on my butt.
Oh how I bawled and carried on. I didn't know then what castration was but if I had known, I am sure I would have felt that act too good for him. I was rescued, of course, by some adult who then explained that if a ram ever came after me again I should lay down. A ram won't hit a prone body, only one that's upright. Probably true.
That bit of advise almost resulted in disaster for me. A while later Harry Greer was working for us and fixing fence between. thee two pasture fields. One field held the dairy cows, the other the young stock and occasional boarding stock.
We were midway along the fence when I saw Dad in the car going up the road. He was across the lower pasture where he kept a bull he was boarding for Frank Anderson. I started to run to the car to go with dad and had gone maybe fifty yards when the referenced bull saw me. We met about twenty five yards later and when I realized he had cut me off, I layed down!
The bull came to me with a rush, bawling and slobbering and dropped to his knees. His horns seemed huge but I am sure not more than eight to ten inches long, but thick. I can definitely remember hitting him on the nose and on the face while he bellered and tried to use his horns. Help came from both sides but in those few seconds, which seemed an eternity, I had all the bull I could handle and just a little bit more. The practice of law gets the same way sometimes.
Dairy bulls have been the cause of a large number of farm injuries, more than any other single thing. The Farm Journal Magazine always had a list of people injured or killed by bulls and repeated warnings about the care to be used around that docile and benign animal.
The same bull came into the barn one day with the dairy cows. He had jumped the fence, so Dad attempted to chase him out. He charged and Dad managed to reach an eight foot joint of three inch steel pipe and hit that animal right between the horns. The bull went down and bloodied his nose. Up he came and charged again. Down he went again, this time Dad had good aim but even then, the bull got up and kept coming. With the intent to kill, Dad smashed the pipe on to that animal's head and floored him. He got up but with all fight taken out of him and left the barn. The pipe, when Dad set it town, was bowed about thirty degrees.