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The Cow
by [?]

I remember one promising calf that I taught to “bunt” like a William goat. One day my eldest brother and my parent on my father’s side were cleaning out an open well, while the calf and myself lingered near, waiting for a glorious opportunity to merit killing. The old gentleman superintended the work and pulled up in an iron kettle the mud which the son of his youth industriously scraped from the bottom of an eighteen-foot well with much labor and an old tin pan. While he was leaning over the mouth of the well, pulling up a kettle of slush, his suspender buttons groaning and his tailor-made pantaloons strained to the utmost tension, I called the calf’s attention to him. The bovine grasped the situation, lowered his head, kicked up his heels, emitted a triumphant bellow, shot forward like a baseball reaching for the stomach of an amateur shortstop, and struck the rear elevation of the head of our distinguished house with the solid impact of an hydraulic ram toying with a stone fence. A moment later there was a sound from the bowels of the earth, but it was not a sound of revelry. It resembled an able-bodied cyclone ripping up four miles of plank road and driving it through the pulsating heart of a colored camp-meeting. The calf had forgotten to remember the well, and while my respected sire was chasing the kettle to the bottom, the calf was chasing him. Half a dozen robust neighbors armed with a windlass and a two-inch rope dragged the youthful ox and his unfortunate companions from the pit, and the volunteer fire brigade was sent for to turn the hose on them. I haven’t forgotten the sequel to this little story; but it would not possess that lively interest for the great public that it did for me, so I will let it pass.